The general consensus among most Marvel fans is that Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye is the worst part of the first Avengers movie. It’s not that Renner is particularly bad in the role, per se — he just doesn’t have anything to do, and you needn’t look any further than Hawkeye’s great arc in Age of Ultron for proof of how terribly underutilized he was in that first Avengers outing. As it turns out, Renner himself is painfully aware of this fact — so much so that he went to great lengths to try and get Hawkeye killed off in The Avengers.

During a recent Q&A in London (via Heroic Hollywood), Renner spoke about working on The Avengers and how disappointed he was with his complete lack of character development:

[I]n the first Avengers…I was just getting to know who Hawkeye was, and then zap, I go round like a zombie, I’m like Loki’s minion, And I’m still not even sure who Hawkeye was at that point. So I’m a little frustrated, because I was so excited to figure out who Hawkeye was.

Thankfully that was rectified in Age of Ultron, which — despite its other flaws — did a great job of giving Renner’s Hawkeye some real depth and a rewarding storyline. But if Renner had his way, Hawkeye might not have appeared in the Avengers sequel: On the set of the first film, the actor says he went so far as to fake heart attacks during his scenes to give the producers an easy out, telling them:

I’m giving you an option, if you just want to kick me out of this movie. Just you know, at any given moment, if you wanna kill me off, daddy’s gonna be having a heart attack.

While we’re still not sure that Hawkeye is great enough to warrant his own solo adventure, his subsequent outings with the Avengers have been far more enjoyable than his mediocre introduction — at the very least, he’d be a welcome addition to the Black Widow standalone film that Kevin Feige keeps failing to deliver.

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