Unless actor Jeremy Renner is getting his information from a parallel universe, it's sounding likely that Hawkeye has a role in Marvel's upcoming movie slate. Still, even Renner is quick to admit that while he's discussed the role with Marvel, he's not a lock for the part.
Assuming the role exists and is still available, it's worth wondering what type of actor would be best-suited for Clint Barton. I don't think the part requires an action hero body, though an athletic physique is a must. Barton also has to be equal parts charming and arrogant without sacrificing his heroic qualities — and he's got to be awesome with a bow and arrow, but that's where pre-production training comes in!
Keeping those prerequisites in mind, I think the following five actors would be right on the mark for Hawkeye.
BRADLEY COOPER: I already listed Bradley Cooper as a good choice for Oliver Queen, and while I don't think the two characters are interchangeable, I do think he'd be great at both — particularly as Hawkeye, who is a better physical match for Cooper than Green Arrow. Besides, the onetime "Green Lantern" contender has all of the charm, wit and charisma that anyone could hope for out of Clint Barton. On top of that, I think he'd make for an excellent fit alongside actors like Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and Don Cheadle in the eventual "Avengers" team-up.
CHRIS EVANS: With the "Fantastic Four" reboot presumably calling for a casting overhaul, Chris Evans is currently without a superhero franchise to call his own — which is why he should be considered for another Marvel role, namely as Hawkeye in "The Avengers." Evans plays cocky better than many actors out there, but his role as a tough-as-nails hero in Danny Boyle's "Sunshine" proved that he also has the dramatic chops that Clint Barton requires. Plus, it would be terribly ironic if Evans landed Hawkeye after beating Renner out for a role in "The Losers" earlier this year.
CHRIS PINE: If his "Star Trek" daddy can play Thor, why can't James Kirk himself play Clint Barton? After all, Chris Pine was one of the earliest rumored contenders for Hal Jordan in "Green Lantern" — a rumor that the actor quickly dispelled — but maybe he was just on the wrong side of the comic book aisle. Pine easily satisfies all of my personal qualifications for Hawkeye, though he has the added bonus of bringing a youthful presence to "The Avengers," something that the movie likely needs.
JAMES MARSDEN: Like Evans, James Marsden is a former Marvel superhero without a current role after getting killed off in "X-Men: The Last Stand." Bringing him into the Marvel Studios fold as Hawkeye wouldn't be a simple consolation prize, it would be an upgrade. Marsden never really had a chance to shine as Cyclops, but his work in other films like "Superman Returns" and even "27 Dresses" — don't laugh, it's true! — have shown his scene-stealing prowess when given the right material. Combined with his physical qualifications for the role, I think that Marsden would make for an excellent Clint Barton.
JEREMY RENNER: Let's give credit where it's due. Since all of these recent Hawkeye rumors stem from Jeremy Renner, it's worth considering the actor — and honestly, after seeing him in "The Hurt Locker," it's hard to find a fault in this potential casting. Renner has just about every quality that you'd want to see in Clint Barton, and assuming he can learn how to pronounce Clint's name correctly, his enlistment in "The Avengers" would be nothing short of awesome news.
Who do you think should play Hawkeye? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!