Jeremy Renner Has Repeatedly Missed the Chance to Lead His Own Movie Series

Jeremy Renner has been nominated for two Academy Awards. He has appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the better part of a decade. And yet, the actor still hasn’t ever been handed the keys to his own movie series. With more and more alleged details coming out about his personal life, we can’t help but wonder if there’s a connection between the two.

Jeremy Renner at San Diego Comic-Con
Jeremy Renner at San Diego Comic-Con | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Jeremy Renner doesn’t have a great reputation within Hollywood

Renner has far from a pristine reputation in the industry. He has repeatedly gotten himself in trouble with the things he has said. These include slut-shaming comments regarding Black Widow, the character Scarlett Johansson plays in the MCU. And that was well before more recent accusations from his ex-wife began to come to light.

In truth, Renner has been plagued with intermittent rumors about his behavior and general demeanor for quite a while. In the midst of starring in universally acclaimed films such as Arrival, The Town, and The Hurt Locker, Renner is a controversial figure off the set. This might actually explain why he can’t seem to hold on to a movie series, aside from his gig at Marvel.

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Perhaps that’s why he keeps near-missing out on his own movie series

After landing back-to-back Oscar nods in 2010 and 2011, Renner was very much in demand. In short order, he joined the MCU as Hawkeye with a cameo in 2011’s Thor. And he signed on to a major supporting role in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. At the time, rumors swirled that Renner’s character would inherit the series. But this did not come to pass.

Instead, star Tom Cruise stuck around, with Renner returning to the franchise in 2015’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation. Similarly, The Bourne Legacy introduced Renner as Aaron Cross, a hero who presumably would carry his own spin-off series. Yet, Matt Damon returned as the title character for 2016’s Jason Bourne, to significantly more commercial success.

Even when Renner has the opportunity to launch a new movie series of his own, it doesn’t pan out. Case in point, 2013’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters — co-starring Gemma Arterton — earned enough to potentially warrant a sequel. Development on the follow-up got far enough to lead to hiring a director in 2015. But the sequel still hasn’t come together years later.

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Fans haven’t even heard much about the ‘Hawkeye’ Disney+ show

In many of the above cases, Renner’s lack of long-term commitment to another franchise has been blamed on his busy schedule. While he has appeared in four MCU movies since 2012, the actor remains the only one of the six original Avengers not to headline his own movie. Such a project was originally planned for Phase 4 but fell prey to Marvel Studios’ planning.

He might not reprise his MCU hero on the big screen anytime soon. But Renner remains attached to the Hawkeye TV series heading for Disney+. Unfortunately, Marvel Studios has not revealed any details on the show, though Hailee Steinfeld has long been rumored to play Kate Bishop. Even if Renner does star on the show, it will likely be so that he can pass the torch.

In the comics, Clint Barton — whom Renner plays on-screen — eventually trains Kate Bishop to be the next Hawkeye. At first, the Disney+ show seems like Renner’s big chance to take the spotlight. But it also feels like more of a smooth way to give his character a timely exit from the MCU. Again, time will tell, as Marvel Studios will likely make an official announcement soon.