Of the numerous surprises in the Avengers 4 trailer — the title reveal; the lack of Captain Marvel, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and (with the exception of a quick field-strolling shot) Thanos; the amount of dialogue spoken by Black Widow — the biggest shock was seeing Hawkeye again. Jeremy Renner has been absent from the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2016’s Captain America: Civil War (after a brief phase where he lived in a farm upstate, just like your childhood dog), but he’s back for Endgame. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo explained his absence by noting, “We keep saying, ‘Patience is a virtue,’ we did not forget the twice-nominated Jeremy Renner. We just cooked up a story for him that is a little bit of a long play. Not a short play.”
Unlike the word “endgame” not being spoken in Infinity War, they weren’t lying.
In fact, it looks like Renner is playing an entirely new character. Based on the trailer, Hawkeye appears to now be Ronin, an alias used by multiple characters in the Marvel comics (including Clint Barton, Hawkeye’s real name). Basically, he’s a samurai warrior who wields a katana blade, which is a major step-up from his trusty and much-mocked bow and arrows. But why would Clint retire one superhero identity for another? The best guess is that he lost his family, post-Snap, and he wants to leave his old life behind. We’ll find out in April 2019.
But the real takeaway here is: it’s now harder to dunk on Hawkeye.