By Edward Davis | The Playlist April 5, 2012 at 6:23PM
Yesterday the Hollywood Reporter released its cover story on Jeremy Renner. Three years ago the now-41 year old actor had toiled away in Hollywood obscurity, until he bagged his first Academy Award nomination for “The Hurt Locker” and at a time when barely anyone knew who he was.
Fast forward to 2012, and he’s going to be the new lead in Universal’s ‘Bourne’ franchise (the upcoming “The Bourne Legacy”), he’s going to be in one of the summer’s most-anticipated superhero films (“The Avengers”) and he’s juggling both tentpole gigs (“Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”) and artier fare (projects with James Gray that include one the filmmaker has already wrapped and another he is writing).
A lengthy profile, one learns lots of facts, such as Renner recently lost his beloved French bulldog, has earned the praise and respect of the suffers-no-fools-gladly director Tony Gilroy, was paid $5 million for “The Bourne Legacy.” Naturally signed on for two more films, he could potentially earn as much as $20 million if it goes to three films, much like his predecessor Matt Damon.
Another little nugget in the article confirms that he’s up for a role in Ridley Scott’s upcoming southern gothic drama “The Counselor” written by celebrated author Cormac McCarthy. However if he doesn’t get the gig, he’s evidently considering joining his “Avengers” co-star Scarlett Johansson on Broadway for a new adaptation of “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.” One of Tennessee Williams' best known works, audiences likely remember the 1958 film adaptation, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives. Presumably Renner and Johannson would be taking the roles that Newman and Taylor inhabited; that of an alcoholic ex-football player who drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. The return and reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son. Asking who would play Big Daddy is getting ahead of ourselves, but presumably it could be some pretty great stage-acting fireworks with any number of excellent older actors.
We’d be lying if we said we’d rather see Renner on Broadway before we saw him on screen in “The Counselor” (we are a film blog, not a Broadway one after all), but as of right now the only locked-in actor is the lead Michael Fassbender who next appears in Scott’s “Prometheus.” Others in contention for various roles include Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Renner and Natalie Portman. Either way, he'll probably have his answer soon, as Scott's movie begins shooting in June.