As the marketing for Avengers: Infinity War has ramped up, one question has steadily loomed larger in the minds of fans: where the hell is Hawkeye?
The bow-and-arrow-wielding Avenger has been invisible in all the promotion for Marvel’s epic superhero team-up — he has not shown up in any trailers or posters, and the name of the actor who has played him in four previous movies, Jeremy Renner, isn’t even listed in the credits on the posters, stand-up displays and assorted other pieces of promotional art.
When we last saw Hawkeye, he was imprisoned on the Raft for his participation in the events of Captain America: Civil War, with the end of the film implying that Steve Rogers was breaking him out. His absence from the full-on marketing push for the new movie, however, suggests not that Hawkeye won’t be part of the upcoming battle with Thanos (Josh Brolin), but that his role in the proceedings is being kept off the table for now as part of some longer game for Marvel.
Infinity War and Avengers 4 screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who also wrote Civil War and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) acknowledged as much when we spoke with them.
McFeely told us that Hawkeye’s mysterious absence is part of the process through which the writers managed to juggle dozens of characters over the course of two films.
“One of the ways we could handle this is because we said to ourselves, ‘All right, we’ve got two movies to work with.’” He explained. “They’re clearly related, but they’re very distinct. Certain characters will carry over, and that has to be okay. Judge us in May of ’19, whether or not that character had a full arc, don’t judge us hopefully just on one movie.
“My assumption is that there will be some people who go, ‘Oh, my favorite character only got a little bit of screen time in the first movie,’” McFeely continued. “Odds are, they’ll have a lot more in the second one. And that was what was best for their story.”
Asked if that is the case for Hawkeye — that he’s a bigger part of Avengers 4 than Infinity War — McFeely simply said, “Yes.”
So rest assured, Hawkeye fans, Clint Barton is not sitting out the greatest battle that the Avengers and their allies have ever faced. You may not see him in Avengers: Infinity War, but there’s a good chance that you will get a lot more of him in the next, still-to-be-titled Avengers film, due out a little over a year from now.