Whenever I berate myself about not publishing very much, I remind myself anything I do publish usually has truth behind it. If I write about a movie, an actor, or anything else it’s fact checked. If I make a mistake I own it, correct it, and move on.
As a self-confessed geek, I have to admit some of these movie sites/blogs drive me bonkers as they publish something, usually with a ‘source’, and suddenly a corner of the internet erupts with wildfire reaction.
I am looking at you Daily Super Hero.
Want to know how I know? Tumblr just about exploded with the news Hawkeye might undergo the third recasting of a Marvel character in the nearly six years Marvel has built its cinematic universe. Of course, goes studio reasoning, we recast Hulk and that worked. We recast Rhodey and that worked too. Nobody will notice Renner anyway.
He got noticed alright. Not bad for a compact guy in a universe of six footers. Here’s another trait setting Jeremy Renner a part from let’s say Shia Lebeouf. He spoke his mind about the Hawkeye he signed for and the one making it on the screen. All he said was ‘At the end of the day, 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play.’
When I read that back in August of last year, it answered the rather niggling feeling I had through The Avengers. The action sequence with Hawkeye jumping off the building proved spectacular; I felt something lacked with Hawkeye. Once I heard Joss’ commentary about scrapping a few plans for the character in earlier drafts, did I see his point. It’s not Joss’ fault at all. Director’s commentaries, Joss’ in particular, come in really handy. The Thor/Iron Man sequence? Marvel insisted on this match up with Joss luckily insisting it will come in an organic way, not as some tacked on set piece. (I finally clued into Michael Bay after Con Air and his wham bang disguised as a story.) While we can argue that issue ad infinitum, it’s a sideline to a rather troubling issue.
Comic Book Movie’s The Daily Superhero prefaced their article with RUMOR in all caps. They also have one Hollywood source whispering all sorts of things about the role getting recast. All because of that one comment. Let’s have a look at it shall we?
To work in Libraries, you need to have an eye for detail. My eye fell on the ‘source’ at the bottom, namely Total Film, a somewhat decent movie site. Did they have a fuller article about Hawkeye’s place in Phase 2? Nope. Here’s what the writer of this article pulled:
- “For 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play,” says Renner, before homing in on the decision to have Hawkeye brainwashed by Loki from the get-go. “It’s kind of a vacancy. [He’s] not even a bad guy, because there’s not really a consciousness to him.”
- “To take away who that character is and just have him be this robot, essentially, and have him be this minion for evil that Loki uses… I was limited, you know what I mean? I was a terminator in a way. Fun stunts. But is there any sort of emotional content or thought process? No.”
- “Is [Hawkeye] working for SHIELD or not?” muses Renner. “There’s a lot of unanswered questions, even for me.”
Pull the three quotes together and we have one unhappy actor. Or do we? Always look at the medium delivering the message. One thing I noticed about sites like this one, they will pull anything off of any site without clicking away to get at the original. The three quotes came from a Hero Complex interview on August 6th of last year. The Daily Superhero article mentions the trend of Marvel recasting parts, or in the case of Hugo Weaving, perhaps dropping actors altogether. (Even that last part is open for interpretation. Weaving himself said, “I think the tendency, with those films, would be to probably not bring a villain back. They might for The Avengers, but I didn’t think I’d be in Captain America 2 or 3. I don’t think Red Skull will be there. And it’s not something I would want to do again. I’m glad I did it.” )
It’s almost as if the writer thinks A happened, B happened, and now I have C who else do I need to talk to look further into C? Oh screw it! It happened before therefore it’s true.
Now let’s look at the quote in context, including the questions:
HC: Will we see you in a Hawkeye movie?
JR: I don’t know. I think there’s always possibilities of anything in the Marvel universe. There’s gotta be a want from people to see something like that. I don’t know if there is. Maybe there is maybe there isn’t. But who knows? We’ll see.
HC: In “Avengers,” you sort of get to play both sides. What was that like?
JR: At the end of the day, 90% of the movie, I’m not the character I signed on to play. I’m literally in there for two minutes, and then all of a sudden… All I could really work on was the physical part of it all, because that didn’t change. That was just the biggest challenge to overcome in playing the guy. Also, we’re pretty much introducing a new superhero character to everyone in a movie where there’s a thousand superheroes. So there’s not a lot of back story or understanding we can really tell about who Clint Barton is, or Hawkeye, and is he working for SHIELD or not. There’s a lot of unanswered questions, even for me. And I was OK with that. At least I was still in the movie. And I was glad for that. The closest thing I could really link to was Scarlett [Johansson’s] character, Black Widow, because they have a history. And that definitely plays in the movie, I think. And obviously, you can’t go into too much just because there’s so much story to tell, but you definitely get a sense that they’re connected, and that there’s something really, really important that ties them together. And I could try to summarize it, but it can go a lot of places. That excites me, though, that there’s room for other things. (Emphasis mine.)
Oh, and one more for good measure:
HC: Are you disappointed?
JR: You know, there are a lot of people in that movie. And a lot of important characters. And my character, I felt like if I can help serve story, then I did my job.
Let’s say Marvel wants to recast Hawkeye. Well, the reaction I see around the web pretty much says ‘no dice’. The Avengers worked thanks the chemical mixture of actors breathing life into characters. Plus a good script doesn’t hurt. Regarding the ‘silence’ about Jeremy’s Renner’s involvement in phase 2 movies? Boy seems kind of busy. Movies are one thing. New baby is quite another. (That’s all I will say about that subject.)
Considering I just wrote over 1000 words on this topic (egads!) let’s leave with some wise words from the late George Carlin:
“Don’t just teach your children to read…
Teach them to question what they read.
Teach them to question everything.”
Now if we can only apply this sort of detail digging to political reporting.