Why Jeremy Renner Wanted To Be Killed Off During The First Avengers Movie

At this point, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is absolute juggernaut which has turned numerous actors into superstars. It seems that most actors are looking for a way in, but at the beginning Jeremy Renner actually wanted a way out. The first Avengers movie was Renner's first chance to really shine as Hawkeye, which made the fact that the character spends half the movie as a mind-controlled zombie quite frustrating for the actor. So much so that he was hoping the character would be killed off.

Jeremy Renner made his MCU debut as Clint Barton in the first Thor movie, but only in a brief role that didn't really pull much focus. If you didn't know that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with the bow and arrow was supposed to be a character from the comics you would have missed him entirely. We started to get to know him in The Avengers, which Renner says was also the case for him as an actor. He told a crowd at London Film & Comic-Con, as reported by the Radio Times, that he really didn't like the fact that Hawkeye spent so much of the film under the sway of Loki, as it prevented him from really getting to know his character.

In the first Avengers... I was just getting to know who Hawkeye was, and then zap, I go round like a zombie, I'm like Loki's minion. And I'm still not even sure who Hawkeye was at that point. So I'm a little frustrated, because I was so excited to figure out who Hawkeye was.

It's completely understandable how it might be a bit disconcerting to find yourself playing a mindless zombie for half of a movie. As an actor, you don't even really get a chance to do what you want, you're just acting out the will of the character. In a movie which is designed to introduce each member of this amazing team, Hawkeye never really got his moment. He doesn't really get a chance to bond with anybody else in the film because, while Bruce Banner and Tony Stark are trading barbs in the Helicarrier, Hawkeye is planning an attack on it off screen.

Jeremy Renner says he would walk around the set theatrically acting like he was having a heart attack as a way to show the filmmakers he was giving them "an option" for the character. It seems to me that tempting Joss Whedon to kill your character off is just about the craziest thing you can do; it's amazing that Renner didn't get taken up on the offer.

Of course, Hawkeye did not die, and in the last couple of Avengers films he's had much more to do. We got introduced to Hawkeye's family in Avengers: Age of Ultron, making the character one of the most relatable in the MCU today. He's now glad they didn't kill him off back then.

I don't really want him to die now. I really got to explore him a lot, and I can't wait to explore him more, and there's some really cool ideas coming up.

We don't know what's next for Hawkeye, or even when we'll see it. Hawkeye has gone underground with half of the Avengers following the events of Captain America: Civil War and it's likely we won't see him again until we get to Avengers: Infinity War.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.