This post includes a spoiler for Avengers: Infinity War.
Directors Joe and Anthony Russo reassured everyone that they hadn’t forgotten Hawkeye, so fans began to speculate in another direction. Was Hawkeye’s role top secret? Was he secretly a shape-shifting alien Skrull, foreshadowing Captain Marvel‘s Kree-Skrull War? Would he appear for a brief cameo, only to get killed off by Thanos? Marvel did promise a significant death toll, after all.
Well, now we have our answer. Having seen the movie—our review is coming shortly—we can confirm he’s definitely not in it. That’s right: There’s zero screentime for Hawkeye in Avengers: Infinity War.
Clint Barton gets a brief mention from his friend Black Widow, explaining that he and Ant-Man are both in hiding with their kids. This keeps them out of the action and paves the way for future movies. Ant-Man and the Wasp comes out this summer, the first MCU movie after Infinity War. Then Hawkeye will presumably return in Avengers 4 next year, rejoining his surviving teammates for the story’s conclusion.
This may be frustrating news for some Hawkeye fans out there, but to be brutally honest, he wouldn’t have had much impact in Infinity War. The cast is already huge, and Clint’s down-to-earth role wouldn’t fit into the galactic struggle against Thanos. We’ll just have to wait and see what the fallout means for him in Avengers 4.