Jeremy Renner: Questions about the future of the MCU are 'dead in the water'

PHOTO: Handout from Disney

Watching the new Disney+ series Hawkeye felt like a palette cleanser for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

It's not a criticism and to be fair, after a slew of potential world-ending threats, the suspension of disbelief tends to waver so it was nice to get a street-level taste of the MCU.

Admittedly, it was also an absolute joy to watch an older, weary, and jaded Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) forced to pair up with an excitable and eager Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld).

In Hawkeye, a blast from Clint's past finds him reluctantly teaming up with Kate to deal with a criminal conspiracy before he can return to his family in time for Christmas.

However, after a virtual roundtable with Jeremy and Hailee last Friday (Nov 19), we can't help but wonder if the weary and jaded persona of Clint is truly an act.

After all, the 50-year-old didn't really seem invested in the interview — at one point, even leaning back and sliding into his seat while co-star Hailee was replying to a question. Maybe he could really be a low-energy person, but it was a stark contrast to Hailee who was just brimming with excitement.

When asked by a media outlet whether the series would be the last viewers will see of Clint, he replied (almost a bit too brusquely): "I don't have a crystal ball. I'm not a soothsayer, that's for sure, and so I have no idea. I have no idea; you're going to have to watch the series.

"Maybe that'll tell you or maybe it won't. Anytime you want to go in the future tense of an MCU discussion, it's already going to be dead in the water. You got to know this by now."

PHOTO: Disney+

He added with a chuckle: "We can't talk about anything in the future of the MCU because we don't know. We don't know the answer."

Jeremy isn't wrong — with the MCU being around for more than a decade, almost everyone knows that those involved can't talk about future plans.

To be fair to him, Jeremy has been on this ride multiple times and fielded a plethora of questions about the future of the MCU. To top it off, most of the cast members of the original Avengers (except for Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo) have also moved on from their characters.

Perhaps it was just that one question that possibly rubbed him the wrong way, but even when we posed ours (that was unrelated to the future of the MCU), Jeremy's reply was rather conservative and by the book.

Years ago, the veteran actor performed a parody of Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud and poked fun at Clint's lack of powers. Ironically, Hawkeye was made better with the fact that the show doesn't pretend the expert marksman is anything but human.

Viewers get a grounded look at this embattled superhero who carries the physical and emotional scars of fighting for humanity, the world and the universe, and the cost it exacted on him.

So, we asked if he felt like he was getting the last laugh.

Read Also
'Fine, recast me': Jeremy Renner was ready to walk from Hawkeye for time off with daughter
'Fine, recast me': Jeremy Renner was ready to walk from Hawkeye for time off with daughter

He replied that it was more about being "very excited about exploring the world that is Clint Barton".

"And where he really succeeds is with the amazing badass women partners from Wanda to Natasha, to now with Kate. It's not having a good laugh, it's just finding the right place for it to really make sense," he added.

For those who are "late to the game", the show is also a good place to discover where Clint's superpower really lies, he explained. Through the lens of Christmas, the show fleshes out Clint's strength, tenacity and thoughtfulness.

He mused: "Thoughtfulness doesn't really sound like a superpower. But sorry, it just is. It's just around. Right? It is what's required in every superhero — to be thoughtful and compassionate. That's amazing just for humans, and every human could be that. And I think maybe that's the last laugh."

Perhaps it's the exhaustion — imagine sitting in the chair for hours fielding variations of similar questions from global media, perhaps it's his self-proclaimed "resting b**** face", perhaps he really wanted to be with his daughter, but something felt off about the vibes.

However, props have to be given to him for really letting Hailee shine and have her moment in the spotlight. He was genuinely excited for her and keen to hear what she had to say.

Feels surreal to be in the MCU

Speaking of, 24-year-old Hailee was an Energizer bunny and Kate personified. On two separate occasions, she gushed about how her foray into the MCU hasn't sunk in yet.

Read Also
Who is Kate Bishop? Meet the new Hawkeye and Hailee Steinfeld's MCU character
Who is Kate Bishop? Meet the new Hawkeye and Hailee Steinfeld's MCU character

In response to a question about her experience joining the MCU, she said: "It feels incredible. It feels very surreal. If I'm being completely honest, I feel like, for every moment I have that feels like it might start to sink in, I have one that follows which just makes this whole thing seem equally as surreal as it was before. It's wild and I'm so grateful. I feel so lucky to be a part of it."

On a subsequent question, she even took a moment to express how cool it was to hear someone ask her about playing Kate.

Hailee remarked: "It's so cool when you hear it out loud. Yeah, that's what I'm saying. The whole thing is so surreal. And then I'm like, 'Okay, this thing's actually coming out, it's starting to feel real'."

She also had many thoughts about her character who "dreams big" and is "very daring" and shared how she modelled Kate after the people close to her.

"Looking at my parents, and members of my family, people that are closest to me that I've grown up with; I've seen who they are, how they see the world, how they channel their inner wild card, recklessness and ambition and how they turn that into something successful. [They were] sort of who I looked to — just people in my family really," she said.

PHOTO: Disney+

Hawkeye premieres on Disney+ on Nov 24.

bryanlim@asiaone.com