Jeremy Renner cast in The Avengers?

Jeremy Renner, the Oscar-nominated star of The Hurt Locker, is rumoured to have been cast as Hawkeye in Joss Whedon‘s impending Marvel team-up movie The Avengers.

Hawkeye, otherwise known as Clint Barton, was an orphan who joined the circus and was trained to use a bow and arrow. Inspired by Iron Man, Barton decided to also become a costumed hero himself. For a small period of time, he teamed up with Black Widow (with whom he was in love) to steal Iron Man’s technology – failing each time. He eventually decided to go straight, applying for membership with The Avengers by holding their butler hostage. Once accepted, he becomes a member of the substitute team, called into action when the real members are on a break.

The rumour of Renner playing Hawkeye has been around for quite a while, but Harry Knowles over at AICN believes the source of the information this time around is solid (although he also asks us to take the news with a grain of salt).

We already know that The Avengers will feature Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and perhaps Hulk (Edward Norton), War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). It’ll be interesting to see if Whedon and Marvel choose The Avengers movie to launch a couple lesser known heroes.

For instance, Edgar Wright has long been attached to direct Antman, but there is no way that film will come out before The Avengers in 2012. So, I guess we can look forward to Antman and Hawkeye’s debut as members of The Avengers Initiative.

Oh, and Renner being cast in anything is awesome news. He will next be seen in Ben Affleck‘s crime drama The Town, and will also star alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master (two ridiculously exciting projects).

Discuss: Do you like the idea of seeing new characters in The Avengers, or would you prefer it if they kept focus on the big four (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Nick Fury)?

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