Jeremy Renner has had A Year. It started with rumors of a romance with Lady Gaga—which did not materialize, but I would like to visit the alternate universe where Jeremy Renner/Lady Gaga and Brad Pitt/Charlize Theron happened—and then he released his completely mediocre karaoke album, and finally, his app melted down in high drama. This year in Jeremy Renner has mostly been entertaining, but a couple weeks ago it took a turn as his ex-wife, Sonni Pacheco, filed new allegations of what amounts to psychological and emotional abuse (his big comeback is that she is a lying gold-digger, because of course it is). Their divorce was a garbage fire, so this is not exactly surprising, but the extent of Pacheco’s allegations is troubling, to say the least. Substance abuse, threatening murder-suicide, this is really dark, serious stuff. It’s the sort of thing that makes one pause and think, Maybe we need to find out more about this before moving forward with Renner on a project. In theory, we’re supposed to be considering more thoroughly the behavior of men and where the lines are for tolerable and intolerable behavior. Recent evidence shows we’ve not advanced as far as we’d like to think, but still, it is at least a conversation we’re supposed to be having. To that end, Marvel might be discussing What To Do With Renner in the wake of Pacheco’s recent allegations.
Just heard something. Heard Marvel are considering some options just in case they'll decide not to use Renner for the Hawkeye show. pic.twitter.com/X8Ztrf97Sp— Daniel Richtman (@DanielRPK) October 20, 2019
I am skeptical of this for two reasons. One is that Marvel did nothing in re: Renner during his and Sonni Pacheco’s divorce, which was hugely messy and involved claims of unsafe childcare conditions and even way back then Pacheco alleged he stole her passport and basically held it, and her, hostage by controlling her ability to return to her home in Canada. The new allegations add a disturbing layer to that, but that Renner has a contentious custody situation isn’t new information, and Marvel has had no official stance on it in almost five years.
My second reason for skepticism is that they’re almost done with him anyway. His last scheduled Marvel appearance is a Hawkeye series for Disney+ slated to air in 2021. That series is based on Matt Fraction’s comic from 2012, in which Clint Barton passes the mantle of “Hawkeye” to Kate Bishop. Renner just has to stick around long enough to pass the baton, and then his run as Hawkeye is over. Sure, Marvel could replace him for that one thing, but I bet they don’t. They’ll just do this one last thing and he’s out.
Also, keep in mind Disney stuck with Johnny Depp even as Amber Heard levelled allegations of abuse against him. Now, however, with a new Pirates of the Caribbean on the horizon, it looks like Depp might finally be done with Disney. I expect a similar outcome for Renner, because this is a “personal matter” and everything is “allegations” and a giant corporation isn’t going to get in the middle of that. They’re not going to dump him—it might even open them up to wrongful termination suits? Weigh in, lawyers of LaineyGossip—but he won’t return after the Hawkeye limited series. Maybe someone at Marvel had a “if we have to dump Renner, who do we call next” conversation, but to date studios have not sacked anyone for being involved in ugly domestic lawsuits. I don’t expect Marvel to be an industry leader in this regard, especially when the test case is a guy who’s already halfway out the door.