Neal McDonough & Jeremy Renner Join the Marvel Universe
Plenty of big Marvel casting news today (although not all of it has been officially confirmed by Marvel yet). First up, Heat Vision says that Jeremy Renner is now "in final negotiations" to join The Avengers as the character of Hawkeye, which was the big rumor during awards season last year, as Renner starred in the Best Picture winning film The Hurt Locker. Next up, Deadline is reporting that Neal McDonough, who I wanted to play Captain America (see this post), has been cast as Dum Dum Dugan in the Captain America movie. Dugan is one of Cap's sidekicks who is part of Nick Fury's team and is also an officer at S.H.I.E.L.D.
Deadline doesn't say much else about McDonough, except that "Marvel Studios was playing dum" about his involvement (what a bad joke). As for Renner, rumors of his involvement kicked up late last year, but were shot down when he said "there's no truth to me doing it." Apparently that was the lie. One of the reason he's now in for the role is because two other major projects didn't work out - he turned down a role in Universal's Battleship and is still interested in Paul Thomas Anderson's next film The Master, but that project is having financing troubles and the start date has been pushed back on that. So now he's officially on as Hawkeye!
McDonough, a very talented actor, is playing Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, one of the most experienced members of Nick Fury's team, known for his marksmanship with rifles and for his impressive physique. In comparing photos of McDonough with Dugan from the comics (as seen above) - this is a perfect fit (I'll even admit it's better than McDonough playing Cap). Hawkeye is an archer who ran away to become a carnival performer as a kid. He later sees Iron Man in action and is inspired to become a "costumed hero." He also falls in love with Black Widow and they're mistaken for villains before joining S.H.I.E.L.D. Great casting?