Avengers: Age of Ultron
Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye in Avengers: Age of UltronMarvel Studios

Jeremy Renner has been somewhat short changed by his part in Marvel Studios' Cinematic Universe.

Following a cameo as Hawkeye in Thor he appeared properly in Avengers Assemble only to spend most of the film brainwashed. Then in the SHIELD-centric Captain America: The Winter Soldier which co-starred Black Widow and Nick Fury, he was conspicuous by his absence.

Reports suggest he'll be given more of a focus in next year's Avengers: Age of Ultron, and that his good fortune may be continuing into 2016, with Renner hinting that he may also appear in Captain America 3.

Speaking to Collider he said: "There are rumblings of Captain America 3. I don't know what's going to happen there. I've got to find the time, man [laughs]. I'm trying to stay home and I can't."

It seems things may soon start to pick up for the bowman, but who else could potentially appear in Captain America 3?

[Warning: Captain America: The Winter Soldier spoilers are below...]

Captain America
Sebastian Stan as The Winter SoldierMarvel Studios

The Winter Soldier & Falcon

These are shoe-ins for a return. Captain America: The Winter Soldier ended with Cap (Chris Evans) and Sam 'Falcon' Wilson (Anthony Mackie) venturing off to track down the titular Soldier (Sebastian Stan), who is now starting to realise that he was once Cap's friend Bucky Barnes.

This story thread has been confirmed to be a key part of the next film.

Black Widow & Nick Fury

Black Widow appeared to go off in a different direction at the end of the last film, having found a friend in Captain America. Actress Scarlett Johansson was Cap 2's co-star and enjoyed top billing alongside Chris Evans, so her return is likely.

However the actress's pregnancy might scupper plans as by the time Cap 3 enters production she will have given birth and be in possession of a new born child. She may not be ready to return to such a physically demanding film just a few months after.

As for Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), he was seen venturing off around the world following the collapse of SHIELD. An appearance in Cap 3 is uncertain considering how packed a film it will be with returning characters and the new ones which are bound to surface, it could go either way.

Another Avenger

Hulk
El HulkMarvel Studios

Right, so cross Robert Downey Jr off your list right now – it isn't happening. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is also pretty unlikely given the grounded political thriller feel of Winter Solider which will probably be carried over into the new movie. Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) could fit given he's been an agent of SHIELD in the comics but again, the grounded feel would go against this notion.

Which leaves us with future Avengers Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). They will each appear in Age of Ultron next year – first as villains and then presumably, eventually, as Avengers. As seen in The Winter Soldier's credits scene the two characters' origins are closely tied to HYDRA, the evil group who will almost certainly be back for Cap 3 in some form. Their appearance is not as likely as others on this list but it is certainly a possibility.

Captain America 3 is set for release on 6 May 2016.