As we know, Avengers: Age of Ultron isn't just set to be one of the biggest movies of the year. It's also the penultimate movie in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one that's encompassed hit properties like Iron Man and also risky gambles like Guardians of the Galaxy. Phase Two is set to culminate with this summer's Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas.
Joss Whedon's follow-up to 2012's Avengers Assemble will look ahead to Phase Three of the MCU, with the brewing tension between Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) set to come to an explosive head. Teasing glimpses of Iron Man's Hulkbuster armour in the trailer have hinted at this.
Another returning face in Age of Ultron is arrow-firing Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who's set to make his first – and only – appearance in a Marvel Phase 2 movie. And The Hollywood Reporter has just confirmed that Hawkeye is set to appear in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, the Phase 3 curtain-raiser in which Iron Man and Captain America are actively pitted against one another.
It remains to be seen how Hawkeye will fit into the already stuffed cast of Civil War. In addition to the aforementioned regulars, we're also going to get Falcon (Anthony Mackie), previously seen in The Winter Soldier, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and, possibly, a little-known character by the name of Spider-Man...
At the time Avengers Assemble was released, Renner was vocal in wanting Hawkeye to do more. "I’m literally in there for two minutes," he said of the movie, "and then all of a sudden… All I could really work on was the physical part of it all, because that didn’t change. That was just the biggest challenge to overcome in playing the guy. Also, we’re pretty much introducing a new superhero character to everyone in a movie where there’s a thousand superheroes."
Fingers crossed that Hawkeye/Clint Barton's backstory will get more of an airing as Phase 3 gears up. Avengers: Age of Ultron lands on 23rd April with Captain America: Civil War getting a UK release on 29th April 2016. In the meantime, Renner can currently be seen in political thriller Kill the Messenger.