Universal shocked everyone last year when they announced that Tony Gilroy would be directing a new Bourne movie called The Bourne Legacy, and that somehow Jason Bourne would not be in it at all. Matt Damon had refused to do another Bourne sequel without Paul Greengrass, and so their solution was to set up a stand-alone project with a brand new hero instead. (It will not be based on the book of the same name.) So who would play the protagonist in this mysterious new film? A couple of weeks ago, there was a not-so-short shortlist of actors floating around the web that included Joel Edgerton, Josh Hartnett, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Paul Dano, Michael Pitt, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Luke Evans, Alex Pettyfer, Taylor Kitsch and Benjamin Walker. This week, however, Latino Review is reporting that an offer has gone out to someone not on the list: The Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner.
Word on the street is that Gilroy’s top choice for the role was Oscar Issac (Sucker Punch) but the studio did not think that he could carry a major blockbuster like this. And they’re probably right. So, although nothing is official yet, it sounds like they have opted for someone with a little more name recognition and acting ability in Jeremy Renner. The weird thing is, Renner also just finished shooting another big name epsionage thriller, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and there has been talk of him potentially taking over that franchise as well.
Apparently no one is concerned about having the same few stars seemingly populate all the major franchises in Hollywood. Studios are so afraid to take a risk on a relatively unknown actor that they will just re-use the same people over and over again, even if it might confuse audiences. Putting all that aside, I like Jeremy Renner and I’d be curious to see what he can do with this movie. However, I still don’t know how I feel about a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne. Somehow this just feels like direct-to-video material to me. What do you think, is Jeremy Renner the right choice to headline a potential Bourne spin-off? Will this movie actually work?