Jeremy Renner Finally Returns to Marvel After Near-Fatal Accident

in Marvel, Television

Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in Avengers: Endgame

Credit: Marvel Studios

Jeremy Renner has returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, almost exactly one year after the horrific snowplow accident that almost claimed his life, reprising the role of Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, in an episode of What If…?, the critically acclaimed animated Disney+ series. And although it’s great to see Hawkeye back in action, Marvel Studios weirdly could not seem to help itself from having a dig at the most frequently-ridiculed Avenger’s expense.

Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Credit: Marvel Studios

The third episode of season 2 of What If…?, titled “What If… Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?” is a more light-hearted episode of the series than most. That’s not all that difficult, considering that the show has so far depicted universes in which Earth’s heroes are transformed into flesh-hungry zombies, Doctor Strange devours eldritch demons until he becomes a tentacled monstrosity, and Ultron destroys every living organism in the universe.

Related: New Avenger Character Leaked for ‘What If…?’ Season 2

“What If… Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?” is a riff on the (debatably) Christmas action movie Die Hard (1988), in which Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) must defend Avengers Tower from Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) and his goons during a holiday party, and things go predictably awry, with goofy super-science consequences.

Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) arguing in 'What If...?'
Credit: Marvel Animation Studios

At one point, Hogan tries to contact the Avengers for help, only to get hung up on by Earth’s most dismissive heroes. When he attempts to call Hawkeye, we find the archer arguing with Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) over who gets to purchase the last remaining Iron Man doll. The dialogue goes:

Bruce: “Clint, think we need to wrap this up. Sun’s getting real low, pal. Like, super winter solstice kind of low.”

Clint: “I’m sorry. It’s the last one.”

Bruce: “Clint, just give her the toy!”

Clint: “No can do. The wife says, ‘Bring home this toy or don’t come home at all.'”

While Barton and Banner argue over the last Tony Stark doll, it can be seen in the background that the shelves are absolutely loaded with Hawkeye dolls, and they do not seem to be moving, even at a deep discount. It seems Marvel Studios really, really wanted to underline that Hawkeye is the least-respected Avenger, even at Christmas.

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: New Series Starring Black Widow and Hawkeye Announced After Disney Ends Current MCU

While Jeremy Renner may only have a few lines of dialogue in the episode, it’s good to see that actor back at it as Hawkeye. It’s noticeable that while all six original Avengers appear in animated form, only Hawkeye, Bruce Banner, and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) are voiced by the original actors. The rest are voiced by Mick Wingert as Iron Man, Lake Bell as Black Widow, and Josh Keaton as Captain America, all three of whom have portrayed the characters in previous episodes of What If…?

Jeremy Renner was hospitalized in January after being run over by a 14,000 lbs snowplow, which broke 30 bones and nearly killed him. The actor has made a steady recovery, and it’s good to see that he’s finally ready to start portraying the Avenger once again.

Should Jeremy Renner return as Hawkeye in live-action? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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