If you were disappointed by Hawkeye's storyline in The Avengers, it turns out you're not alone. Jeremy Renner himself was actually way ahead of the curve, and tried multiple times during filming to kill off the character. Though the actor has come to embrace his role as the lamest Avenger, he was incredibly frustrated while filming that first movie, so much so that he gave them the option to get rid of him.
According to Radio Times, the actor dropped this bomb during a Q&A at this past weekend's London Film and Comic-Con saying, "I never really told anybody this, but in the first Avengers… I was just getting to know who Hawkeye was, and then zap, I go round like a zombie, I’m like Loki’s minion. And I’m still not even sure who Hawkeye was at that point. So I’m a little frustrated, because I was so excited to figure out who Hawkeye was.” He continued, "I just had a heart attack in every scene – I’d just be walking with… Scarlett Johansson, and just like be ugh,” Renner said, clutching his chest theatrically. “And they said, ‘what are you doing man?’ I’m giving you an option, if you just want to kick me out of this movie. Just you know, at any given moment, if you wanna kill me off, daddy’s gonna be having a heart attack.”
This is likely why he got the lion's share of character expansion in Age of Ultron, to keep him engaged. It definitely changed his tune toward the character, as he illustrated by concluding, "I don’t really want him to die now. I really got to explore him a lot, and I can’t wait to explore him more, and there’s some really cool ideas coming up. Really cool ideas. Great deaths! Amazing ways to die.”