A man whose name has been permanently glued to every theater marquee in the country the past three years is set to join a franchise based on an amnesia-induced identity crisis.
Jeremy Renner has been officially offered the lead role in "The Bourne Legacy," the fourth film in the "Bourne" series that featured Matt Damon as the titular hero in its first three films. Renner would play a new character, distinct from Damon's Jason Bourne, but who is also a Treadstone-bred assassin.
"This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel," series screenwriter Tony Gilroy explained about the new story in October. "No one's replacing Matt Damon. There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter...this is a stand-alone project... The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal. Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he's very much alive."
The casting follows months of speculation; Gilroy, who will direct this new film, cast a wide net in his search for a new star. In February it was reported that he had a shortlist that included Jake Gyllenhaal, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch, Kellen Lutz and Tobey Maguire; interestingly, Renner was not on his list, or at least not publicly. That said, a report in the Latino Review earlier in April said that Renner would be the choice.
Renner is quickly becoming the face of the biggest in action franchises. He stars this summer in "Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol," with Tom Cruise, from whom he is being groomed to assume the number one star mantle. He'll also be a member of the hero ensemble in the Marvel teamup epic "The Avengers," directed by Joss Whedon.
Renner became a household name when he was nominated for an Oscar for his turn as a solder in "The Hurt Locker." He garnered another Oscar nomination for his work in "The Town," as well.
While his "Bourne" casting isn't official yet, The Hollywood Reporter says that it looks like he will accept the part and jam it into his superstar schedule.