Jeremy Renner is now best known as one of the founding members of the Avengers, but he could have landed himself another major superhero role long before he got the part of Hawkeye in the MCU. The actor has revealed that he was once offered to play Hellboy in Guillermo del Toro’s original movie based on Big Red back in 2004. However, the star elected to turn the opportunity down.
While speaking with Justin Long on Long’s podcast, Renner explained that he just couldn’t get a grip on who Hellboy was and so had to pass for that reason.
“I was just reading the script and [thinking] like, ‘I don’t get this…’ I just couldn’t connect to it. I said, ‘I can’t find a way in (to this character), I don’t know what I’d be doing,’ so I had to say no.”
But, looking back, does the star regret deciding not to helm his own comic book movie franchise, something he hasn’t yet done as Clint Barton? Definitely not, according to Renner, as he knows he wouldn’t have been right for the character.
“There’s zero regrets, zero. Most of the time it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m glad I didn’t do it,’ and it made sense to me. Not just Hellboy or whatever it was, and I’m not saying that it’s a good or bad movie, it’s not about that… I just wouldn’t have fit there.”
For Hawkeye, though, it was a different story. Renner went on to say that he was instantly attached to the concept of a hero who wasn’t a super-powered being but rather a man with an increased skillset.
“When they showed me my character… it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s great, it’s just a guy with no superpower – he’s just got a high skill set.’ I can actually attach to that. I’d have passed on (the role of) Thor all day long – not that I’d ever be cast in that – but like, that kind of thing I’d be like, ‘I don’t know how to do that, I’m sorry.'”
It’s safe to day Renner made the right decision. Ron Perlman was the perfect Hellboy in del Toro’s films, so much so that David Harbour’s version struggled to win over fans, at no fault of his own, in the recent reboot. And, of course, Renner himself might not have been offered Hawkeye if he was already attached to a different franchise. Maybe there’s another dimension out there where Ron Perlman plays Clint Barton in the MCU?