Jeremy Renner Offered Lead Role in Bourne Legacy
04.22.11 by BJSprecher
Universal cast a wide net when it began looking for an actor to headline the latest movie in its popular Bourne movie franchise based on the books by Robert Ludlum. Names that popped up in the past couple of months include Garrett Hedlund, Joel Edgerton, Luke Evans, Shia LaBeouf and Taylor Kitsch, but Universal went with an increasingly in-demand actor that surprisingly was not previously considered to be near the top of the list. According to Deadline, actor Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) has been offered the lead role in Bourne Legacy.
Despite the fact that "Bourne" is in the title of the new movie, brainwashed Treadstone covert operative Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) will not actually be appearing in Bourne Legacy. Described by writer-director Tony Gilroy as a "stand-alone project," the movie will instead follow an entirely new character (played by Renner, should he choose to accept the offer), but one very much in the vein of Jason Bourne, i.e., a highly-trained covert op with a messed-up memory. In an interview last October, Gilroy said that Bourne Legacy is not a reboot or a prequel and that "Jason Bourne is still alive and out there in the world," which leaves the door open for Damon to return, should Paul Greengrass, the director of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum decide to return to the franchise.
Deadline speculates that Renner will "sign on quickly" to Bourne Legacy, but others doubt that he will accept the offer because of his already busy schedule and his prior commitments. Not only will Renner will be starring in Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, with the possibility of taking over the franchise should Tom Cruise decide to bow out, but he will also be starring in writer-director Joss Whedon's The Avengers, which Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige has said could lead to a spin-off solo movie for his character, Hawkeye.