Marvel Star Officially Walks Away From Major Franchise, Makes Statement

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Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye

Credit: Marvel Studios

One of the original Avengers is officially walking away from a billion-dollar franchise.

The Avengers (Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor, Black Widow)
Credit: Marvel Studios

In 2011, Jeremy Renner made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Thor before making a fully credited appearance in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers in 2012.

As Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, the Academy Award-nominated star went on to appear in many other MCU entries, including Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye
Credit: Marvel Studios

In 2021, Renner returned to star in his own six-episode limited series, Hawkeye, on Disney+. Hawkeye became the fifth series from Marvel to debut on Disney’s streaming service and acted as the precursor to 2024’s Marvel Spotlight series, Echo. It also introduced Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop to the MCU.

Renner, who had a major snowplow accident leaving him “dead” in January 2023, is currently on the road to full recovery and has no confirmed upcoming film roles, including in the MCU, but will reprise his role as Mike McKlusky in the third season of Paramount+’s Mayor of Kingstown this June.

Jeremy Renner in the Mayor of Kingstown
Credit: Paramount+

Amid his decade-long tenure in Kevin Feige’s massive superhero franchise, Renner also lent his talents to another major action universe.

Shortly before he stepped into the role of Clint Barton in the MCU, Renner appeared as William Brandt in the fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (2011). The actor would go on to star in Ghost Protocol‘s sequel and fifth chapter of the series, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation (2015).

Tom Cruise holding on to a moving vehicle in the 'Mission: Impossible' franchise
Credit: Paramount Pictures

However, Renner would eventually be written out of the franchise, with Mission: Impossible — Fallout (2018) confirming that William Brandt had retired.

There was speculation that the commercial failure of Renner’s action movie The Bourne Legacy (2015)–which saw him take over from Matt Damon as the lead–caused Paramount to scrap plans for Renner to replace Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt as the main character of the Mission: Impossible franchise.

Jeremy Renner as William Brandt with short, light brown hair and a serious expression is dressed in a light gray suit, white shirt, and light-colored tie.
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Now, Jeremy Renner is speaking out about walking away from the Mission: Impossible series, revealing why he needed to make the change.

“Yeah. I had to leave that. I was supposed to do more with them. I love those guys. I love Tom [Cruise] so much,” Renner told Collider while promoting Mayor of Kingstown Season 3. “We had so much fun, and I love that character a lot. It requires a lot of time away. It’s all in London. I had to go be a dad. It just wasn’t gonna work out then.”

Tom Cruise scaling a building in Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Credit: Paramount Pictures

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He told the outlet that a return to the franchise isn’t necessarily off the cards.

“Maybe now that my daughter is older, that could happen,” he said. “I’d always jump into a Mission: Impossible anytime and back into Brandt. It’s great.”

Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell in 'Mission: Impossible -- Dead Reckoning Part One'
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Like other legacy franchises such as Indiana Jones, the Mission: Impossible series is enduring and will continue in the future now-untitled eighth movie. Last year saw Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One release, with Part Two expected to follow.

However, in October 2023, the Dead Reckoning Part Two element of the title was removed. The Dead Reckoning two-parter was initially slated to be Tom Cruise’s big send-off as Ethan Hunt, but alas, that also now seems to have changed.

Left Linda Cardellini as Laura Barton (R) Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (L) in Avengers Age of Ultron
Credit: Marvel Studios

Renner’s other big franchise, the MCU, is currently at a turning point as Disney and Marvel Studios aim to course-correct the misfires of recent years and redirect the turbulent superhero ship.

Most recently, Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger imposed new release restrictions on the MCU, stating that a maximum of three movies and two television shows would be released each year. This came after the CEO’s comments about Marvel using the same characters, its fledgling TV business, and audience fatigue.

Wolverine and Deadpool stand in the middle of a deserted street, dressed in their superhero costumes, with a damaged pharmacy and debris in the background.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Marvel Officially Restarting Series After Disney Changes Current MCU

Shawn Levy’s Deadpool & Wolverine (2024) will be the next entry in the MCU. This will mark Ryan Reynolds’s (Wade Wilson/Deadpool) and Hugh Jackman’s (Logan/Wolverine) franchise debuts.

In the TV space, the next live-action series will be Agatha All Along (formerly Agatha: House of Harkness, Agatha: Coven of Chaos, and Agatha: Darkhold Diaries). The series will begin with a two-episode premiere in September 2024.

Do you think Jeremy Renner will return to either the Mission: Impossible or Marvel franchises? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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