Believe it or not, Jeremy Renner has been playing Clint Barton in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for more than a decade. He first debuted in Thor back in 2011, working with S.H.I.E.L.D. to try and apprehend the God of Thunder, and he hasn't looked back since. Now, after all this time, Renner and Barton finally get their own time in the spotlight with the arrival of Hawkeye, a brand new series on Disney+. Renner stars alongside Hailee Steinfeld who plays Kate Bishop, aka the next in line for the Hawkeye mantle.
This series, like the comic run from Matt Fraction and David Aja, feels like a passing of the torch from one Hawkeye to another. This could easily be Renner's MCU swan song, much like Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow solo film. Where the characters differ, however, is that Barton's fate hasn't yet been revealed. According to Renner, the future of his character is still up in the air, and he's just taking it one project at a time.
"I don't have a crystal ball, or I'm not a soothsayer," Renner told GamesRadar+. "But having Hailee come in, and these characters, I think it opens it up for six great episodes for this event type of television. After that, I have no idea. But these six episodes are pretty exciting."
Whether or not Renner's Clint Barton continues on past Hawkeye remains to be seen, but his opportunity to be a main character in his own story has been a long time coming.
"All of these roles have been fairly small. And then Ultron, we got a little more. And then he just starts stealing all of these scenes. But it was always the intention to explore much more," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said during the Hawkeye press conference. "The character's history is vast. And also, the Matt Fraction comics, which I am sure people have been spending a lot of time talking about, was a big tonal inspiration for us. And seeing that and this new dynamic."
"There are moments within all of Jeremy's appearances where you see this mentor under the surface," Feige continued. "This reluctant hero, this reluctant mentor under the surface. One of my favorite scenes in all of our films is the scene with Clint and Wanda in Sokovia. Where he basically says, 'When you go out that door, you're an Avenger.' And motivates her to join the fight. And that was the kernel of how we could connect our MCU incarnation of Clint Barton into the Matt Fraction storyline in relationship with Kate Bishop."
The first two episodes of Marvel's Hawkeye debut on Disney+ on November 24th.