“The Avengers” will fill the sky with Marvel icons – that is, if the summer’s most crowded film doesn’t remain earthbound under the great weight of its teeming ensemble. That challenge is why Joss Whedon was brought in as the director and screenwriter. He’s a true savant when it comes to snappy dialogue and scenes that become sly symphonies of angst, bravado, love, lust, doubt and deceit. With all of that in mind, we asked Whedon to talk about the major characters and what each brings to the group dynamic. Today: Hawkeye.
Jeremy Renner portrays Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, who has trained his body and mind to become a world-class marksman. In the process, he also became a world-class loner.
“I love him because he really could not be less of a team player,” Whedon said. “He’s a sniper. That’s the first thing Jeremy ever said to me — it’s this guy’s job to be removed from everybody else and just to watch. So for him to throw in is a very personal thing.”
In the pages of Marvel Comics, Hawkeye first appeared in September 1964 as a conflicted criminal — he was an Iowa orphan who became a prodigy as an archer after joining a traveling circus — and he reminded more than a few readers of Green Arrow without the colorful name.
Hawkeye quickly stepped out of the DC archer’s shadow, however, and became an integral component in the machine that is the Avengers (or the West Coast Avengers, the spinoff group that Hawkeye organized). On the silver screen, Renner’s Hawkeye made his debut with a cameo in “Thor” but fans will need to wait for Whedon’s film to compare his back story to the vintage bio.
“He’s always going to be different from the rest of the crew, and that difference is an intangible based on what he does,” Whedon said. “His bond with Natasha [Romanoff, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent called the Black Widow] is special, and it is one of my favorite things in the movie. There’s a connection, but that bond is based on the fact that they are both loners.”
— Geoff Boucher
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