Years before landing the Hawkeye role in the MCU, Jeremy Renner reveals he was offered the lead in Hellboy, but ultimately turned it down.
In a recent episode of Justin Long’s Life is Short podcast, Renner detailed how he was offered the role of the red horned paranormal investigator. “I was just reading the script and [thinking] like, ‘I don’t get this…’ I just couldn’t connect to it,” Renner said. “I said, ‘I can’t find a way in [to this character], I don’t know what I’d be doing,’ so I had to say no.”
He added, “There’s zero regrets, zero. Most of the time it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m glad I didn’t do it,’ and it made sense to me. Not just Hellboy or whatever it was, and I’m not saying that it’s a good or bad movie, it’s not about that… I just wouldn’t have fit there.”
As is made clear by his comments above, Renner has no long-term regrets about turning down the Hellboy role and considering that his career has only risen further since joining the MCU, it’s not hard to imagine why. Additionally, he obviously didn’t connect with the material on a personal level, and Ron Perlman went on to earn raves for his work, suggesting that everything in this scenario turned out for the best.
While it would have been interesting to see Renner portray Hellboy in the initial film, it is heartening to hear that he stuck up for his beliefs and found success in doing so.