Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, is a character that’s dynamic and has great depth. However, he is among the few who have yet to receive his own movie. With rumors abounding about a possible Hawkeye solo film in the MCU’s Phase 4, let’s look at what a Clint Barton-centric venture could look like.

Clint Barton — A Brief MCU History

He’s fought side by side with gods and monsters and battled robots atop a flying city. Only armed with a bow and arrow. He was an agent of SHIELD turned Avenger. He is first and foremost a family man.

Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, makes his MCU debut in the first THOR film. Under the supervision of Phil Coulson, Agent Barton is ready to fire if need be when Thor breaks into their compound to get his hammer back.

We see Clint next in THE AVENGERS at a SHIELD facility where the Tesseract’s power is being tested. He is sent to monitor and guard it against any threats. Loki arrives to begin his conquest of Earth. He brainwashes Clint with his scepter, putting him under his control. After the Black Widow frees his mind with a well-placed punch to the head, Clint joins the newly formed Avengers. They stop Loki, the alien invasion, and save the world.

Hawkeye Solo Film
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

We see Hawkeye next in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. After Ultron is born, the Avengers move to intercept and become compromised. Clint takes them to his family’s house to lay low. None of the other Avengers, save Black Widow, knew about Clint’s wife and kids as he kept them a secret for their safety. After defeating Ultron, Clint goes into retirement to spend more time with his family.

However, Clint leaves retirement at the request of Captain America in CIVIL WAR. He breaks Scarlet Witch out of the Avengers facility and collects Scott Lang, the Ant-Man, and the three of them join Captain America, Falcon, and Winter Solider. Iron Man and his allies try to stop them. After the ensuing battle, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, and Ant-Man are all arrested and imprisoned in the Raft.

Clint Barton’s Future: AVENGERS 4

INFINITY WAR reveals that both Clint and Scott take deals to go under house arrest in order to be with their families, which is why neither are present in the film. Both will return for AVENGERS 4 however. As of right now, we can only speculate as to why they return. We’ll most likely get Scott’s reason sooner than Clint’s as ANT-MAN AND THE WASP comes out on July 6th.

One of the crucial pieces to Clint’s character is that he cares for his family. He wants to protect his family at all costs. This includes the Avengers. Why else would he leave his retirement and personal family to join Captain America? Because they needed him and he went to support those he considers to be family also.

Hawkeye Solo Film
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The end of INFINITY WAR sees Thanos achieving his goal: using the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half of all life in the universe. While we see several of the Avengers turn to dust, we also see civilians fade away as well in the post-credits scene. No one is safe from Thanos’ supposed mercy. This includes Hawkeye’s family, Avenger or otherwise. Losing them would certainly be enough to bring him back into the fray.

While I suppose that the loss of those we saw disappear in INFINITY WAR could be enough to bring Hawkeye back, I would much rather discover that those in his personal family were a casualty of Thanos as well. This would create a massive and tragic loss for Clint, driving him to seek revenge against Thanos and/or a way to bring his loved ones back.

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Clint’s Future Post-AVENGERS 4: A Ronin/Hawkeye Solo Film?

There has been lots of speculation as to what could happen to Clint after AVENGERS 4. Those who subscribe to the theory that his family is gone, (I’m one of them) look to some specific set photos of Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner from AVENGERS 4. While wearing a jacket to conceal his costume in the photo, you can still see his boots. They are black with a gold lining.

Hawkeye Solo Film
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Now, if we look to the comics we know that that color scheme resembles Barton’s attire when he works under the name of Ronin. (No not Ronan, the Kree alien fanatic from the first GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.) Ronin, as in the feudal Japanese term for a samurai who has lost his master.

It can also mean one who has suffered loss and is wandering without a home. In the comics, Clint takes on the mantle of Ronin in the aftermath of CIVIL WAR. However, in the MCU, if Clint lost his family he would definitely be without his home: a wanderer. It would make sense that he could become Ronin after such a loss.

Could Clint’s future be Ronin? Especially if Clint is unsuccessful in bringing his family back, the transition to a Ronin-esque, darker Hawkeye could be a permanent one. Would this be what fans want? Hard to say when we’ve seen so little of a spotlight on the character over the years. Clint’s generally been the most easy-going Avenger, making self-deprecating jokes about his abilities.

A change to a darker personality could be interesting narratively. However, there’s a risk of losing the integral parts of what many love about the character to begin with. Hopefully, Marvel can find a good balance.

Hawkeye Solo Film Rumors: A New Version

While a Hawkeye solo film has long been wished for by fans, the rumors have been in full force lately due to some things Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said a few weeks back about the MCU’s future. During the Produced By Conference, Feige shared that stories are in the works involving characters both familiar and new, as well as new version of current beloved characters.

While he could be alluding to any number of characters with that last part (cough-Miles Morales-cough), many fans believe that this could mean Hawkeye, either with Ronin, which is entirely possible, or even something further. Perhaps Kate Bishop?

Hawkeye Solo Film
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

In the comics, Kate Bishop is the only female to ever take on the Hawkeye name. Originally part of the Young Avengers, Kate Bishop gained much of her popularity from the 2012 HAWKEYE run by Matt Fraction and David Aja. In it, she works with Clint as they take down small crime. Clint teaches her, and she tries to help him, despite his stubbornness. Eventually, Kate makes her own way as Hawkeye, traveling to L.A to be a superhero/private eye.

It could be interesting to see a more grounded film, where Hawkeye works alone. He could take down small-time crooks and crime that could be considered too small for the other Avengers. Eventually, he could Kate, and we could see a great mentor/pupil film. It would be even greater if Kate perhaps helped him reconnect if Clint does lose his family. She could help him reconcile and make peace with their deaths.

A film like this could also set up a great future film for the Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye. However, I hope Marvel doesn’t go straight to a Kate Bishop film. Clint needs to get his time to shine.

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Other Thoughts and Ideas for Hawkeye Solo Film

Some other ideas that could be cool for a Hawkeye solo film could be a flashback film. Many are still curious about Hawkeye and Black Widow’s mission in Budapest, referenced during the Battle of New York. While I personally think that Clint’s present and future is going to be plenty interesting, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Hawkeye Solo Film
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Studios has typically had their films following a consecutive, current timeline. However, CAPTAIN MARVEL will be one of their films to look back, taking place in the 90’s. Maybe we could get a bit of both, with parts of the Hawkeye solo film taking place in the present, with relating flashbacks throughout.

Speaking of Black Widow, we could see a movie where Hawkeye teams up with another hero such as Natasha or someone else. Personally, I wouldn’t be a huge fan of this. I would much rather have the focus be on Clint. I would only concede with Bishop, as the focus would still be on Clint teaching Kate, and Kate learning from him.

Some fans have expressed their desire for a Hawkeye series, akin to Netflix shows like DAREDEVIL and JESSICA JONES. This ideas probably stems from that Fraction and Aja comic run, as it could play really well as a Netflix series. It’s grounded and gritty, with Hawkeye defending an apartment complex from the mafia. This seems doubtful. Renner has too much star power and little time to commit to a whole series.

I’ll admit it would super cool though.

Hawkeye Solo Film
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

For now, we can only speculate until more news arrives about AVENGERS 4 and Phase 4. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that we can get a Hawkeye solo film soon.

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AVENGERS 4 releases May 3rd, 2019.

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