Jeremy Renner near deal to join Marvel's "Avengers"

Fri Jun 4, 2010 11:23am EDT

Jeremy Renner, best actor nominee for ''The Hurt Locker,'' arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood March 7, 2010. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Jeremy Renner, best actor nominee for ''The Hurt Locker,'' arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood March 7, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Jeremy Renner is in final negotiations to join "The Avengers," Marvel Studios' big-screen take on its superhero team that's being directed by Joss Whedon.

Renner will play the bow-and-arrow-carrying hero Hawkeye, who wasn't a member of the team when it was created in the 1960s but became an integral member soon after, when the misguided villain switched sides.

Renner will join Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Don Cheadle as War Machine.

The Hulk also might be a character in the movie, but at this stage, there is no deal that would bring back Ed Norton, who starred as the emerald giant in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk."

Renner's involvement initially was rumored last fall, although the actor, who was in the middle of the awards derby with the war thriller "The Hurt Locker," was at the time more taken with Paul Thomas Anderson's untitled drama and was being heavily courted by Universal for "Battleship."

Renner never joined "Battleship," and though he remains interested in Anderson's film, that project is still cobbling together financing and has seen its start pushed back several times.

Because the "Avengers" role is key but not starring, it would allow Renner to slide into Anderson's film if it should come together.

Renner next appears in Ben Affleck's crime drama "The Town."

Marvel did not confirm that Renner is in negotiations for "Avengers."

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