Oscar-nominated actor Jeremy Renner is in final talks to play Hawkeye in The Avengers. Renner has been rumored to be up for the role for months following his turn in last year's gritty war drama The Hurt Locker, which won the Oscar for Best Picture and earned Renner a Best Actor nomination.
But Renner held off, reportedly because he was also considering a role in There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson's next movie and also had a part in Battleship dangled in front of him. Well, Anderson's movie is still looking for financing, and Renner passed on Battleship, so according to Heat Vision, he'll pick up Hawkeye's bow and arrow instead.
According to Marvel canon, Hawkeye (real name Clint Barton) was not a founding member of the Avengers and in fact started out wrongly assumed to be a villain. He didn't help his cause by helping Russian spy Black Widow to steal technology from Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. But the orphan—who learned his archery skills in the circus—later straightened up and joined the superhero team, for which he has been a steady player off the bench ever since.
Renner now becomes part of a cast that includes Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Don Cheadle as War Machine. As Heat Vision points out, there's no word yet on whether the Hulk will feature in the movie and whether Edward Norton will reprise the role, which he played in 2008's The Incredible Hulk.
With that big a cast, it's also no surprise that Marvel has reportedly asked the actors to take pay cuts for The Avengers in order to keep the movie's costs down.
Meanwhile, Deadline also reports that actor Neal McDonough, whose sci-fi credits include Minority Report, Star Trek: First Contact and the voice of Bruce Banner in the animated Incredible Hulk series, has reportedly been cast as Dum Dum Dugan in Captain America: The First Avenger. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is first introduced as one of Nick Fury's Howling Commandos during World War II. Marvel reportedly cast him after McDonough campaigned to play Cap himself.
The Marvel casting madness continues! What do you think of Renner as Hawkeye and McDonough as Dum Dum?