The Marvel Universe’s greatest bowman hasn’t had an easy time of it onscreen. Despite the fact that Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Javier Pulido’s Hawkeye is one of the most popular and acclaimed Marvel comic book series in recent years, Clint Barton has yet to make his mark in Marvel movies. Don’t blame Jeremy Renner, who’s been a game performer since he first appeared in the role in 2011’s Thor. But after that bare-bones introduction, the character was immediately made Loki’s mind slave and spent half of the Avengers standing in the shadows. Then when Hawkeye did take part in the latter part of the film’s action he was used as a mere tactical diversion while heavy hitters like Iron Man and the Hulk took the spotlight. Marvel, to its credit, is aware of the problem, and has already stated that the purple archer will play a major role in next summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. Indeed the first spy pics taken from the film saw Renner battling alongside newcomers Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Now, Collider is reporting that Hawkeye may appear in the next Captain America film too.
“There are rumblings of Captain America 3,” Renner told the site. “I don’t know what’s going to happen there. I’ve got to find the time, man (laughs). I’m trying to stay home and I can’t.” Although no particularly strong bond was forged between the two characters in The Avengers (beyond that which developed between every member of the super team), in comics Hawkeye has long been portrayed as a protege of Cap’s — a former circus performer who first spars with Steve Rogers, then comes to accept his wisdom, eventually following his lead and trying to to do him proud. In the Fraction series, Hawkeye has been painted as an everyman who prefers the company of his friends and neighbors to S.H.I.E.L.D. and his Avengers teammates. Granted, the Russo Bros. expanded Black Widow’s role in a big way in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but whatever direction Renner’s character takes in his upcoming films, it’s clear that an injection of personality (and an increase in screen time) is needed. But if anyone can give us personality, it’s Joss Whedon. So now that Whedon’s introduced and established the Avengers, here’s hoping the genre king soon gives Hawkeye his due.