With Reporting by Josh Horowitz
When you're surrounded by metal-suited geniuses, super-brave super-soldiers, thunder-cracking deities, green-hued monsters, and lifelong assassins — and all you have is a pesky bow and arrow — you're bound to have an issue or two.
But we don't really know much about Clint "Hawkeye" Barton's issues, honestly, as far as his place on the Avengers roster. Sure, make fun of the eagle-eyed hero for being the obvious odd man out on the team, but there's just so little we know about the guy, based on his brain-washed role in the first movie.
That being said, there's a real argument that "Avengers: Age of Ultron" focuses on Jeremy Renner and his character more than almost any other main player — or at least brings him into the light in a clearer way than anyone else. We finally get to see the man behind the Loki possession, the guy who risks life and limb to shoot some arrows at the bad guys even though there are other individuals who seem a bit more qualified for the task.
According to Joss Whedon, it's only fair "that the archer would get the shaft" in the first movie, and while "it was necessary for the storytelling," one of his true joys in "Age of Ultron" was digging into "the characters who don't have their own franchises and aren't necessarily powerful gods, the ones who seem different, the ones who have questions about them."
"It was fun to let Renner take center stage," said the writer-director. "He's really good in the movie. The idea that he has some dark secret that separates him from the rest of the team is something I wanted to explore. To me, it makes perfect sense that this would be his secret."
So, what's Hawkeye's secret? That's not something either Whedon or Renner will readily confirm until after the movie hits theaters in the U.S., but let's just say it's not quite as dark as Whedon claims. For Renner's part, some version of the character's "secret" existed in the conversations he had before signing on for "Avengers," if not exactly what we see in "Age of Ultron."
"There was a version of what's revealed in this movie that was talked about from the very beginning, but in a different spin on it," he said. "They were all aspects that drew me to the character, and they're all based on very interesting human qualities."
You'll find out just how human Hawkeye really is when "Age of Ultron" hits on May 1.