Jeremy Renner has opened up turning down Hellboy back in 2004 despite being approached by director Guillermo del Toro.
“I was just reading the script and [thinking] like, ‘I don’t get this…’ I just couldn’t connect to it,” Renner remarked. “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. [...] 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.”
There was originally some confusion over which Hellboy role Renner was referring to, but the Mexican director soon took to Twitter to clarify.
Not the title role. The role of Agent Myers... which went to Rupert Evans. https://t.co/ogmYceZdU3— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) July 5, 2019
It makes a lot more sense that Renner was approached to play Agent Myers in Hellboy rather than the titular comic-book character, as there is a 21-year age gap between the 48-year-old Renner and the 69-year-old Ron Perlman, who went on to iconically play Red twice.
Renner, who made the above remarks on Justin Long’s Life Is Short podcast, had just begun to emerge as an up and coming acting presence back in 2004 thanks to his leading role as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Dahmer.
The best was yet to come though, as Renner was Oscar nominated for his work in The Hurt Locker, while he has since rose to prominence as Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only has he played Hawkeye six times already, but he’s also been heavily linked with his very own Disney + streaming series, too.