Hawkeye has become a very popular character in the comics among younger readers, following Matt Fraction’s 2015 Hawkeye series. And perhaps more importantly Kate Bishop became a massive fan favorite after that came out.
That didn’t exist when they introduced him to the films, so they based the character mostly on the Ultimate version of the character. Which were not good. They added in the family angle to give him something to do from what I recall. The main comics version had had a couple moments of popularity as a supporting character in the Avengers books. But was otherwise a bit of a B list punchline, in the exact way the film version kinda is. Part of what made the Fraction series work so well was very much leaning into that “kinda shitty” reputation the character had.
So Marvel had a bit of a catch 22. They had a wildly popular, award winning version of the character attracting new readers to the books. And their film version had already become too divorced from that, and too buried in the scheduled phases to use it. So I think they kinda just de-emphasised him. Leaving him practically right where the comic character had been sitting back in the 00’s.
This show was announced, explicitly as an adaptation of the Fraction run. That is a very good thing. And they seem to have injected a bunch of Die Hard to make it work with a Hawkeye at a very different starting point.
I get the sense Renner would be perfectly happy to just keep doing it for the rest of his life. His career isn’t exactly exploding otherwise. He’s definitely not going to be doing back flips on the TV much longer though.