Jeremy Renner has had an unusual year. And we’re not just saying that because the guy broke both of his arms filming a movie where grown men play tag, although that might be part of it.
No, the other unusual aspect of his 2018 was Renner’s complete absence from not just one, but two of the biggest film franchises on the planet in which he’s been a core member for the past couple films. First it was a bunch of Marvel fans wondering “Where’s Hawkeye?” when Avengers: Infinity War came out. And now that it’s clear he’s not in Mission: Impossible—Fallout either—something we’ve known for a while, but hey, with how cameos go these days, you never know—people are wondering where the hell he actually was all this time. So Digital Spy decided to ask M:I—Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie, who assures us that it really was the actor’s commitment to Marvel that kept Renner out of Tom Cruise’s latest attempt to get himself killed:
At the time, when the movie started, we didn’t really have a screenplay, so it was very difficult for us to say who would be in the movie for how long and on what days, and he had a commitment to Marvel. So there was just simply no predicting. If we had a finished script, we would have been able to say, “Yes, this will work and we can let you go for this time,” but there was just no predicting what those roles were going to turn out to be. It was just an unfortunate case of bad timing.
Look, it’s not that shocking to have one major franchise’s schedule overlap with another one, causing all manner of headaches. Just ask Henry Cavill’s upper lip. Renner only looks like he’s getting a bum deal thanks to whatever long-term plan the Russo brothers and Kevin Feige decided on when it comes to Hawkeye’s arc in the Infinity War storyline, presumably because he’s going to play a big role in Avengers 4. (It’s probably safe to assume Hawkeye didn’t crumble into dust at the end of the first one, in case anyone in your office betting pool is still holding onto that particular wager.) He’ll likely be right there alongside Captain Marvel next year, fixing the disaster Thanos caused. But in the meantime, Tag is still in theaters, allowing you to play “spot the digital arm trickery.”