Though Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff wasn’t beloved when she entered the Marvel live-action movies in Iron Man 2, she and her war buddy Hawkeye won audiences over in The Avengers. Hell, she could outwit the trickster god Loki, outrun The Hulk, and best Hawkeye in battle even when handicapped by her efforts not to hurt him, just put him out of commission. Black Widow’s badassness had many of us—including Scarlett Johansson—crying out for a Black Widow/Hawkeye spin-off movie. And while there is no news on that front (yet?), The Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon has promised much more of her and Hawkeye in the much-anticipated sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In a conversation with Nerd HQ (tipped by MTV), Whedon revealed:
"Natasha is a huge part of the sequel because you do want to concentrate on the people who don't have their own franchises. Although she in 'Cap 2,' [and] she's great. She was the most fun for me because she's not a hero, you know, and it's something that I read—and I feel bad that I can't remember who wrote the book—but it's in one of the books explaining, 'These guys are heroes, you are a spy. It's a different thing—it's a different skill set—and you don't have their moral high ground or any of that good stuff.' And that just makes her so interesting to me. So yeah, the stuff I've got going on with her in the second one is killer."
But that’s not all. ScreenRant has pointed out that Whedon has bigger plans for Hawkeye in Age of Ultron. At this year’s Comic Con, he said of the sequel:
"It’s very much a global Avengers film. A lot of the movie has to do with their place not just in America, but the world. Part of the fun for me, definitely this time around, is writing Hawkeye. He did get possessed pretty early by a bad guy and had to walk around all scowly for most of the movie so now it’s nice to actually have the character there and see him interact with the other guys."
This should be some solace to Jeremy Renner, who has publicly admitted he was unhappy with how his role in the film turned out. The two-time Academy Award-nominated leading man was originally considered for the lead in Captain America, but once Chris Evans was cast, Renner was reconsidered and ultimately landed Hawkeye. However, he was frustrated that he only really got to play Hawkeye as Hawkeye for a small portion of the film. Speaking of the Loki brainwashing plot point, Renner has said:
"At the end of the day, 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play. I’m literally in there for two minutes, and then all of a sudden… Also, we’re pretty much introducing a new superhero character to everyone in a movie where there’s a thousand superheroes. So there’s not a lot of backstory or understanding we can really tell about who Clint Barton is, or Hawkeye, and is he working for SHIELD or not. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, even for me. And I was OK with that. At least I was still in the movie. And I was glad for that. The closest thing I could really link to was Scarlett [Johansson's] character, Black Widow, because they have a history. And that definitely plays in the movie, I think. And obviously, you can’t go into too much just because there’s so much story to tell, but you definitely get a sense that they’re connected, and that there’s something really, really important that ties them together. And I could try to summarize it, but it can go a lot of places. That excites me, though, that there’s room for other things."
From what Whedon’s teasing for Age of Ultron, it seems he and Renner are on the same page as far as building out Black Widow and Hawkeye’s shared backstory. Of course, it will be an insane task juggling not only Hawkeye, Black Widow, and the other Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor) but also the villainous Ultron, and new additions Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. But we said that about the first film, and Whedon blew us all away. Can he top himself? We’ll find out when The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens on May 1, 2015.
You can listen to the full Whedon interview below: