What's "The Bourne Legacy," the newest film in the franchise without Matt Damon, all about? Well, it's directed by Tony Gilroy who steered "Michael Clayton" to seven Oscar nominations for his first feature-length effort, it's lead by heir-apparent star Jeremy Renner ("Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol," "The Hurt Locker") and it also includes Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Oscar Isaac, and returning members of the 'Bourne' franchise Joan Allen, Scott Glenn and Albert Finney.
Early reports said the film centered around an organization even more dangerous than Treadstone -- the covert ops group that birthed brainwashed agents like Jason Bourne. "'Ultimatum' exploded at the end with people arrested. [In the new film] we deal with that as a reality, it has ramifications that echo out into the larger world," Gilroy himself said earlier this year. "And of course, Jason Bourne is still alive and out there in the world."
But in speaking to Empire, Jeremy Renner revealed that Treadstone, or what's left of that operation, is still invovled (hence the reason folks like Glenn and Allen are still in the series). "Yeah, it's that same deal, it's just a new set of agents with a different leash," he said. "It's the same tempo and pace but more expansive and bigger. The differences are pretty vast but you'll know it's a Bourne movie."
Renner also revealed a small detail nugget about his character. "My character is called Aaron Cross," he said, "but he ends up having a bunch of different names. For fans of the franchise, ['The Bourne Legacy'] has that same ticking clock, but it's a new programme and new characters."
So, much like we expected and hoped; a similar propulsive and intelligent vein, but a larger canvas to work with.
Renner also recently talked to Entertainment Weekly in the magazine edition (not online) and revealed that he had spoken to Matt Damon about taking over the reins of the franchise, but failed to deliver any juicy details or advice Damon may have given him (" 'Yes,' he and Damon discussed their torch-passing on the series. And no, he won't spill any details of what was said" is all EW says).
As for those worrying that Renner's been taking on too many franchises, he's had the same thought and had to pause before taking on the 'Bourne' series. "I had to have a serious talk with my agent because this offer wasn't about a movie, this was about a life choice," he said about agreeing to star in the new 'Bourne' move. "In 'Mission,' it's a Tom Cruise movie. 'The Avengers' is ensemble-y, but 'Bourne' is a game changer. I thought, 'This is going to affect how I walk down the street. It's going to affect what happens when I go into a restaurant. I can't even believe I'm saying this, but is this going to affect the next 20 years of my life?' As an artist, am I putting a nail in the coffin of my artistic sensibility?"
"The Bourne Legacy' hits theaters August 3, 2012 and is definitely one of our most anticipated films of next year.