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Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Hedlund Among Candidates For 'The Bourne Legacy'

by Kevin Jagernauth
February 25, 2011 2:36 AM
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Taylor Kitsch & Kellan Lutz Also In The Running

Update: Deadline reveals a few more names in contention: Joel Edgerton, Josh Hartnett, Paul Dano, Michael Pitt, Oscar Isaac, Michael Fassbender, Luke Evans, Alex Pettyfer and Benjamin Walker. So basically, everybody.

We're surprised it took this long but let it begin: the casting process has begun for the next installment in the Jason Bourne franchise, the names are big and these actors will likely not be the only ones mentioned before a lead is settled upon.

Variety reports that Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch and Kellan Lutz are among the actors in the mix for Tony Gilroy's continuation of the franchise. Gilroy has never had an easy relationship with the 'Bourne' franchise, but he was paid handsomely to pen the scripts for each installment, but became increasingly frustrated with what ended up on screen (tellingly, he reportedly agreed to write "Bourne Ultimatum" under the conditions that he would never have to speak to Paul Greengrass, would only pen one draft -- indeed, three writers are credited -- get paid, and wash his hands of the entire affair). But he's finally set to make Bourne the way he always wanted, landing in the director's chair last fall.

Gilroy has apparently been meeting with several actors over the past week, to find the right fit for whoever will take on the role in the ongoing saga; but remember, it won't be the role of Jason Bourne. The door will be left open for Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) to return, so instead this installment of the series will likely focus on another agent enlisted in the clandestine Operation Treadstone.

With an August 2012 release date already tentatively scheduled, and a spring production start slated, the pressure is on to find the lead role -- a part that is certainly highly sought after. As Variety hints, and as we have heard separately in the last few weeks, Gilroy has been having trouble and has become somewhat frustrated in locking down his male lead. Gilroy is insisting on screen-testing all the candidates -- a move that might alienate the more established thespians -- while the director and studio both have their own ideas as to who should take on the juicy lead role. As you can tell from the names mentioned it's a mix of A-list -- Gyllenhaal and Maguire -- mixed with up-and-comers Hedlund ("Tron: Legacy"), Kitsch ("Battleship") and Lutz ("Twilight").

Filling in the shoes left behind by Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon is no small task and unlike any of the tentpoles set for 2012 -- except for maybe "Superman" -- the decision will be highly scrutinized. But Gilroy is an intelligent fellow with a sharp sensibility and his insistence on screen-testing and making sure the actor is the right fit gives us faith. A decision will probably come down soon, but until then, let the speculation run rampant and before the hate begins on these choices just remember: Matt Damon was considered a ludicrous choice until he proved himself in "The Bourne Identity" so anything can happen.

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  • Michael. | February 25, 2011 11:45 AMReply

    I like the idea of Joel Edgerton and Anthony Mackie somewhat.

    Jeremy Renner would be an obvious yet good choice but is certainly out of the running due to his possible takeover of the MI franchise.

    Some other options (in no particular order of crazy): Joaquin Phoenix, Brian Geraghty, Javier Bardem, Jamie Bell, Ryan Gosling, Armie Hammer, Colin Farrell, Emile Hirsch and ummm..... heaps of other guys?

  • rodie | February 25, 2011 8:40 AMReply

    What about Joseph Gordon-Levitt? After Inception obvious he can do action, and next year his action-thriller stock will rise more with the starring role in Looper and a supporting appearance (allegedly) in The Dark Knight Rises.

  • The Other Alex | February 25, 2011 7:54 AMReply

    Joel Edgerton, Oscar Isaac, Michael Pitt seem like the best options to me.

    Fassbender wouldn't do it anyway - he doesn't seem like the kind of actor to amass several franchises.

  • Alex | February 25, 2011 6:23 AMReply

    I second this Anthony Mackie suggestion. Dude deserves a tentpole and stardom.

  • Gabe Toro | February 25, 2011 6:13 AMReply

    Specification: MUST BE WHITE.

    Anthony Mackie, anyone?

  • Day | February 25, 2011 4:31 AMReply

    They should take more time and find an unknown, who Gilroy screentest's just to make sure he can act. Also, if they could think outside the box and cast a minority it would make for a much more challenging story; which could mean a better film in the end -- If not than please cast Joseph Gordon Levitt.

    Gilroy is one of my favorite screenwriters. He still needs to prove that Michael Clayton wasn't a fluke because Duplicity was a little off beat. I am really excited to what he comes up with!

  • BuntyHoven | February 25, 2011 4:18 AMReply

    Paul Dano! Haha! Paul Dano as Bourne 2.0! Laughable.

  • laura | February 25, 2011 3:54 AMReply

    Alex Skarsgard is good, he was amazing in Generation Kill. Shawn Hatosy is also fantastic on Southland. Both better than these choices.

  • bob | February 25, 2011 3:45 AMReply

    Two outside-the-box considerations:

    1.) Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire)
    2.) Shawn Hatosy ( Public Enemies)

  • Kevin Jagernauth | February 25, 2011 3:34 AMReply

    Probably pretty easy to figure out the studio and director choices. Someone tweeted at us a great suggest: Alexander Skarsgard. That would be pretty inspired and amazing.

  • laura | February 25, 2011 3:32 AMReply

    Tobey Maguire? KELLAN LUTZ?

    Someone shoot me.

  • amanda | February 25, 2011 3:31 AMReply

    These are all uninspired choices. The thing that was great about casting Damon as Bourne is because he wasn't the typical action hero guy. They could have done so much with the "new" Bourne and they went with they typical casting choices.

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