Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is all about reshuffling the deck, with a whole host of new heroes set to make their debuts in the franchise, while several veteran players get pushed off into the background, as legacy is one of the major driving forces behind the upcoming slate of movies and Disney Plus exclusives.
One of the most hotly-anticipated debutants is Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, who assumes the mantle from Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton in Hawkeye. Shooting wrapped last week and the series is penciled in to arrive before the end of the year, and a new rumor now claims that it could be Renner’s last outing as the MCU’s premiere sharpshooter, with the actor set to depart the franchise after the show.
It’s important to point out that the intel originated on 4Chan before making its way over to Reddit and should be treated thusly, but we’ve been hearing for a long while now that Hawkeye will mark Renner’s swansong. It might be titled after Barton’s code name, but it’s very much going to be Bishop’s show as she receives a crash course on how to wield a bow and arrow from the famed Avenger.
The leak goes on to say that Black Widow‘s Taskmaster will appear as a secondary villain alongside Swordsman, with Better Call Saul‘s Tony Dalton having been cast as the latter, and even claims that Wyatt Russell’s John Walker will be dropping by. As always, it’s best to take the latest batch of speculation with a pinch of salt, but Clint Barton retiring and letting Kate Bishop assume the mantle of Hawkeye has always been viewed as the inevitable crux of the narrative, and Renner would be just the latest Phase One stalwart to step away from the MCU after Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson.