Two men. Both alike in masks, lack of super human power and more?!
HAWKEYE launched on DISNEY PLUS today. How does he connect to the Dark Knight, if at all? Well..
The main thing is that both characters are not strictly speaking ‘super-heroes’. They rely on skill, funding, dedication and being lone operatives with community bases.
Neither is restricted by a single interpretation or iteration. Hawkeye of the comics, cartoons and games looks nothing like his film counterpart. Batman, equally: can be anything from dark avenger to camp parody. All depends on the visual interpretation of the day.
Batman has of course many more cinematic incarnations than Hawkeye as the latter character is a relatively recent addition to big screens. But there is a common thread in so far as they tend to cast good actors.
Jeremy Renner is a first rate thespian who happened to excel in a film that featured action (HURT LOCKER). He convinced as a bomb disposal expert army officer and that is a very tough thing to do. George Clooney pulled off a similar thing in 1997’s THE PEACEMAKER though alas proved ill served by the nadir of BATMAN AND ROBIN in the same year.
Could Renner have pulled off playing Batman? Of course he could! Even Michael Keaton thought it funny to include the Jeremy name in BIRDMAN. The question is whether the role necessarily serves the actor best?
Based on Renner’s form, it is tough to tell. Because the man has had some rotten luck. As the new in name star du jour, they tried to pass him off as the new Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt successor and neither really showcased Jeremy’s skill or star quality imho.
MARVEL used Renner differently. Only now is he headlining his own brand and maybe that is for the best. He has grown into the HAWKEYE role, now unfettered by ensemble cast dynamic from the AVENGERS.
The actor and character are no longer defined by reaction to Downey/Thor et al. No more forced backstory with Scar-Johannnssszzzzonn. Fewer attempts at fusing comedy quips to serious action man credentials.
The archer can now breathe in his own story, on terms to suit. That’s a luxury which eluded Renner previously and thereby limited his options as leading man somewhat? But now he can ‘fly’, so to speak.
Indeed, if anything? Renner/Hawkeye might well have more life than the Bat at present? Yes, we get a Keaton reprise as Dark Knight in THE FLASH. Ok, Pattinson is getting his own standalone THE BATMAN.
But one gets a feeling of the Bat-brand propping DC/Warners, whereas the opposite is the case with Hawkeye/Marvel/Disney. This new TV show feels fresh and arguably more cinematic than certain scenes in which the character featured previously on an actual ‘big screen’.
And if it hits big in ratings, expect more, some spin offs and Renner’s return to the cinematic universe of Marvel.
Batman is in the more defensive position, with every hope pinned to him and so more riding on his every success as a character/brand. Logically, therefore, a major failure in that is far more damaging than any minor setback in the Hawkeye universe?
It all comes back /down to core character appeal in the longer term. Batman taps into a timeless and primordial, primeval instinct in all of us. To avenge injustice, to look after the little guy whilst enjoying the trappings of high living. That fantasy can run and run and cross genres and tones.
Hawkeye is a more down to earth character. Despite an extraordinary skill set and occasional vigilante rage as ‘Ronin’? His psychological profile is clearer and more ‘normal’ (does not live at home with Butler and little boy acrobat; has farm/wife/family etc). Nonetheless, the two worlds can co-exist and grow, simultaneously. And Renner, Keaton, Pattinson et al are a massive part of that ongoing development. Long may it continue!
Of course, the main thing that BATMAN and HAWKEYE share in common? They both need PRIVACY! So each has a VPN, for sure! That’s virtual private network. Not visible panty line (VPL). Free VPNs for streaming!
MORE NEXT WEEK. SAME BAT-TIME! SAME BAT-CHANNEL! HAPPY MID-WEEK!