Slowly but surely, Katherine Langford is becoming a young actress to watch out for. The 13 Reasons Why star has had a buzzy 2018 so far between the second season of the harrowing Netflix original series as well as the more feel-good cinematic romp Love, Simon. Plus, she is getting noteworthy jobs and securing her place in the industry, nabbing the lead role in another Netflix series, Cursed. Now, she has landed her biggest break yet.
The Wrap reported that Langford will have a role in the untitled fourth installment of The Avengers. Her scenes have already been filmed but her role is being kept secret for the time being. Still, considering the hype machine that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general, a good dose of speculation has begun and will continue to bubble between now and the film’s release date in May 2019. The top favorite fan theory rippling across the internet at the moment — seriously, there’s already fanart — is that Langford is due to play Kate Bishop in Avengers 4.
For a number of reasons, this makes perfect sense. In the perennially shifting MCU, Clint Barton‘s impact on the big screen has long been dulled into a listless rendition of the character that his engaging comics counterpart certainly doesn’t deserve. Jeremy Renner‘s iteration of Clint just hasn’t been given much to do in the Marvel movies, to the point where he isn’t much missed in this year’s Avengers: Infinity War.
Kate, a protege of Clint’s who is known to eventually take up the Hawkeye mantle alongside him, would make an excellent addition to the roster. Frankly, it doesn’t matter who plays her. Kate ought to be in the MCU as she could be a true rejuvenating factor for the Hawkeye identity. Particularly if she actually gets to represent the future of the persona on screen.
Although she, like Clint, does not have superpowers, Kate is one of the most enduring characters introduced via Allan Heinberg’s mid-2000s Young Avengers run. She prominently features in Matt Fraction and David Aja’s acclaimed Hawkeye series in 2012, operating as Clint Barton’s headstrong sidekick (who even seems more capable than him in several situations). Kate has only continued to grow as a character over time, displaying wit and aplomb through the 2013 Young Avengers series, All-New Hawkeye, and most recently, her own Hawkeye book (that was sadly canceled in early 2018).
Avengers 4 provides a reasonable avenue for Kate to be launched in the MCU canon should Hawkeye get those “big story things” — the ones Kevin Feige promised back in April — sooner than later. This notion of fostering a legacy wouldn’t be out of place for the MCU version of Clint, anyway. We’ve seen him play a father figure before, both literally and figuratively.
Besides his wife and children living peacefully together on the Barton ranch, Clint frequently plays mentor throughout the movies as well. That said, his rapport with apprentice Wanda Maximoff doesn’t really go very far. Perhaps this is due to the fact that one of them is immensely superpowered and the other seemingly just fires arrows from a bow with a ton of precision. In the end, Clint looks a lot more like Wanda’s personal cheerleader than any sort of useful adviser.
Mentorship is a big deal for franchise longevity, and Clint should be involved in a better storyline overall. He and Kate demonstrably make a dynamic duo during their time together in the comics, which could hopefully translate well to the big screen. Furthermore, if Renner fully ejects himself from the MCU like other members of the original six seem to be doing, having someone to keep the Hawkeye brand alive wouldn’t be the worst thing. Kate ultimately stands out as a crime-fighting hero in her own right.
And there’s no question that Langford could depict the character admirably. She displays a multifaceted acting ability through 13 Reasons Why alone. The show has copious problems with representing topics such as suicide and sexual assault. Nevertheless, the acting has always been solid, even from its younger company.
Langford portrays the ill-fated Hannah Baker as sarcastic and witty, quiet and vulnerable, or enraged and indignant depending on who she interacts with. That doesn’t encompass the full scope of her character either. 13 Reasons Why grapples with notions of reality and mental project regarding Hannah’s true identity, which can make for problematic storytelling but is an excellent source of actorly opportunity. Langford mines the role for all it is worth and the acclaim she has received for the show is much-merited.
I also celebrate her supporting role in Love, Simon, despite the fact that it could have definitely been written to make a stronger impact. In the movie, Langford plays Leah Burke, who fills the archetype of Supportive Best Friend to a large extent. However, Langford does not only bring the requisite warmth to the film. She also manages to hint at Leah’s inner self through perfectly calibrated body language that isn’t really given the chance to flourish in the grand scheme of the movie. This is why I’m rooting for the potential sequel based on the follow-up to Love, Simon‘s source material, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
For the moment, Langford’s role in Avengers 4 is really just an enigma to relish in. We can hope for the best that Kate Bishop finally gets her big-screen debut. Regardless, this casting news is a huge win for any thriving actor and Langford can savor it.