Among the many great projects Joss Whedon has committed to (which includes his excellent Save the Day campaign videos), he will always be remembered for successfully bringing The Avengers to the big screen. The blockbuster that assembled these different superheroes together from their own standalone pictures was a landmark achievement in modern blockbuster filmmaking and has inspired many studios to start their own shared cinematic universes.
Whedon went on to direct the film’s sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron. The film received positive reviews, but some, including Whedon himself felt that it missed the mark in some areas. But one aspect that many fans can agree upon was improved character development for Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).
One of the criticisms of the first Avengers was how Hawkeye didn’t have much to do. To be fair, he was under Loki’s control for a portion of the film, but thankfully in Age of Ultron, the revelation of his own family was a refreshing addition to the story, and fans grew even closer to Hawkeye because of it.
On Tumblr, Whedon was asked about why he decided to add this dynamic to Hawkeye’s character despite it not being established in previous films. Whedon responded:
I loved the idea that one Avenger had a secret, and that it was that he was a normal guy who is genuinely connected to the world in a way no other avenger is. We cut a lot of the misdirection that would have made the reveal more fun, but emotionally and thematically it still works great for me.
In retrospect, the idea of an Avenger keeping a secret epitomizes why these heroes are still human regardless of their exceptional abilities. Obviously, secret identities aren’t that big of a factor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there are still countless secrets that anyone feels the need to keep hidden due to fear of the consequences. It also leaves one wondering what other secrets the Avengers may have that may be revealed in future films.