Captain America, The Avengers Just Got Better
First, in the ever growing cast list for The First Avenger: Captain America, Neal McDonough is in talks for the part of Dum Dum Dugan, according to Deadline. For those who don't know, Dum Dum was one of the Fury's Howling Commandos during WWII, and is one of the elite members of S.H.I.E.L.D., one of Fury's right hand men. He's known for being a hardass and a hell of a soldier. McDonough doesn't exactly look the part, but then, no one looks the part of Dugan. This is him in the comics:
This, of course, is McDonough:
The continuity is a little wonky, as Dugan was still a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the modern era, meaning he was fighting alongside Fury for well over 60 years, one of the problems with the whole Fury continuity anyway. Apparently the plan is to use him as a Howling Commando in the WWII aspect of the Captain America film, and no word as to whether (or how) they'll use him in the modern part of the film as well. Unlike Cap, he was not trapped in ice for decades. It's a little confusing to the non-reader. Regardless, it's great news. McDonough is a great actor (despite his recent massive misstep by joining the horrendous Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li) who doesn't get a lot of great parts, so this is good news.
The second bit of news is an update on a rumor we ran a while back, namely that Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) might play Hawkeye in Joss Whedon's Avengers movie. Apparently, Renner is now in final negotiations to play the part, which is just fucking outstanding. He'd be great for the part, and Hawkeye is an excellent character addition to the team. He's a predominately second (or even third) tier character, but a great one nonetheless. The trick is that Renner is also supposed to co-star in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master (as mentioned by Dustin on Tuesday), but Hawkeye will be a smaller part, so the hope is he'll have time to do both (the two films' schedules are very close).
Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton, is a former circus performer who becomes a member of the Avengers. In the comics, he's part of the second incarnation of the team, along with Cap, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Obviously, the film's version will retcon that (hell, it's already been retconned a couple times in the comics), but I'm totally fine with that. Hawkeye is an archer, shooter, fighter and a dead-eyed marksman.
Again, while neither is confirmed yet, the outlook is good.