Marvel fans are calling for Jeremy Renner to be replaced as Clint Barton in the upcoming Hawkeye Disney+ TV show set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Renner joined the MCU as S.H.I.E.L.D. marksman Clint Barton in Thor, before teaming up with the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in The Avengers. Of all six original Avengers, Hawkeye is arguably the most underserved in the MCU, playing Loki’s pawn in the first Avengers movie and sitting out the entirety of Avengers: Infinity War. However, he did return in Avengers: Endgame and Renner is set to star in a Hawkeye solo TV show on Disney+. The series was confirmed by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and Renner at San Diego Comic-Con this summer, and will introduce Kate Bishop.
As of late, though, there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the Hawkeye actor, including Renner allegedly threatening to kill his ex-wife, Sonni Pacheco. Pacheco also alleged drug use on Renner’s part and further abuse. Renner issued a statement in response, stating his primary focus has always been on his daughter, Ava. These allegations surfaced as part of a custody battle between Renner and Pacheco for sole custody of their daughter. Following the allegations, rumors began to surface that Marvel and its parent company Disney are looking at potentially replacing Renner as Hawkeye in the MCU – and some Marvel fans are voicing their support of this move.
On Twitter, both Daniel Richtman and Grace Randolph cited sources claiming Marvel is considering either recasting Renner, reducing his role or cutting him entirely from the Hawkeye TV show. As of yet, the veracity of these rumors is unclear, and they should be taken with a grain of salt due to these sources having spotty track records in terms of accurate reports. But the rumors of recasting have themselves inspired support among Marvel fans on Twitter. One fan, Cheryl Lynn Eaton, pointed out the MCU replaced Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle between Iron Man and its sequel, so viewers can suspend their disbelief enough for Marvel to recast Renner. Other fans, like @GayDeafComicGuy, suggested Marvel specifically cast a deaf or hard of hearing actor to play Hawkeye. See their tweets below.
This isn’t the first time Marvel fans have voiced support for Renner to be replaced with a deaf or hard of hearing actor. Last year, activist Nyle DiMarco called for Hawkeye to be played by a deaf actor, since the character is canonically deaf in the Marvel comics. Clint’s disability is addressed in Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run of Hawkeye, and Marvel’s upcoming series from Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt, Hawkeye: Freefall. Although Marvel Studios has made a great deal of headway in including more representation in terms of women and people of color in the MCU, Hawkeye remains a major blindspot by not having a deaf actor playing a character who is deaf in the comics.
All that said, it remains to be seen whether Renner’s role in the Hawkeye TV show will be affected by the controversy currently surrounding the actor. The rumors that Renner may be recast are just that at this point: rumors. Even if Disney/Marvel are considering ways to reduce or cut Renner’s involvement in Hawkeye, it’s likely very early days in those discussions. Fans won’t know how the studio will proceed until they reach an official decision. Until that time, Marvel fans can continue voicing their opinions and discussing what should become of the MCU’s Hawkeye.