After months of speculation, it was finally confirmed that Jeremy Renner is to replace the role made famous by Matt Damon. The Oscar nominee has been handed a new lead role in Tony Gilroy's "The Bourne Legacy" after searches for other actors failed to satisfy the filmmakers.
Renner's name had been bobbing up and down earlier this month but scheduling conflict prevented the actor from striking a deal. Since his acclaimed performance in "The Hurt Locker", jobs have been lining up in front of him including "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol" which will be released in December, "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" which he is now filming, and "The Avengers" which is to start shooting soon.
In addition, Renner has circled around Sheldon Turner's "By Virtue Fall" but it looks like he would slip in "Bourne" first before shooting this thriller. Production of "Bourne" is due to start in September.
In the potential new franchise, Renner reportedly portrays an operative from a covert government program that is even more dangerous than the Treadstone brainwashing program that hatched Jason Bourne. However, Damon's character is not out of the picture completely, as explained by Gilroy.
"The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal," Gilroy said. "Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he's very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for what happens. I'm building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy. ... The world we're making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne's return [down the road]."