The field for the next Jason Bourne -- well not really, but the next guy who will be-on-the-run in his footsteps is narrowing. About a month ago, a long list of contenders emerged including names both big and small such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch and Kellan Lutz. Director Tony Gilroy was meeting with the actors but now he has decided who will go the next step and audition in front of a camera.
Deadline reports that Joel Edgerton, Dominic Cooper, Garrett Hedlund and Luke Evans will be screen testing for the lead role in the continuation of the series, "The Bourne Legacy," next month (Logan Marshall-Green who's already nabbed a role in Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" is also a name that comes up in connection with this part). But the site cautions that the choice for the role might come from somebody who doesn't have to test at all (previous names touted as possibilities like Taylor Kitsch, and Shia LaBeouf, who is a new name in the mix) however, Universal believes in the Bourne brand and that a big name isn't necessary to topline the picture. Also there may be a couple other names that might test as well (and it should be noted Cooper wasn't linked in the first batch of names to be mentioned).
We do like the direction the casting is heading, though we're a little concerned since Hedlund hasn't quite proven that he has the mettle to topline a tentpole. "Tron: Legacy" was more about the whizz bang FX flying around him that it was about character, which has been a strength to the Bourne franchise so far (yes, in addition to the breathless set pieces). But the other three have been delivering hard as character actors and we could see each of them taking on the role of the quasi-Bourne with ease. We sort of like the idea of Edgerton taking the role if only because we think he could bring a ruggedness to the part the others can't quite match. But then again, no one really saw Matt Damon as action star until he rocked his shit in "The Bourne Identity" so we're ready to be surprised again. We've also been hearing that a lot of the bigger names in the mix, LaBeouf, Gyllenhaal, etc. are the names the studio have foisted on Gilroy, so don't expect them to likely get the part. The folks that are testing are definitely more of the speed of what Gilroy is looking for and apparently there's been a few heated discussions about casting so far.
Anyway, a decision will be made soon as production will get underway later this year. "The Bourne Legacy" will hit on August 3, 2012.