Now that Iron Man 2 is in the finish stages, and Thor will kick off filming in January, the casting rumor mill must now find some new grist in The Avengers. (Not Captain America, oddly enough. We'll just skip right over that one!) Empire sat down with Jeremy Renner, who revealed that he'd been in talks with Marvel Studios and Avengers' writer Zak Penn about tackling the part of a superhero.

While he's reportedly been linked with Captain America on some dim corners of the Internet, Renner is thinking he might like to play another Avenger : Clint Barton, better known as Hawkeye. "I don't know if I'd be right for Captain America. I met with the Marvel guys, actually, but we didn't talk about Captain America. But one of the writers, Zak Penn, we've become friends over time and he was thinking maybe Hawkeye could be interesting. He sounds like an interesting character."

Renner stressed "no offer has been made ... I think there's a little ways from that" but he also speculated that Hawkeye might cameo in Thor or in First Avenger: Captain America. But Thor has an awfully big cast at this point, so tossing in an Avenger cameo seems a bit dubious, though there's always room in a post-credit sequence. Iron Man 2 would have been the ideal place (Mr. Clint Barton and the Black Widow go way back) but the ship would appear to have sailed on that one.


Renner certainly has the right look for Clint Barton, and he really did have a superhero cockiness in The Hurt Locker. But The Avengers is so far away, and the lineup still so uncertain that it feels foolish to speculate. After he was so strongly linked with Mad Max 4: Fury Road, I'm beginning to suspect Renner might be "that guy" who becomes linked to a lot of franchise characters. Good for him, but frustrating for those fans who just want it all to be settled with a minimum of false leads.