Jeremy Renner: Super Spy
The product of a covert program called Operation Outcome, Aaron Cross (Renner) must go on the run when his makers try to destroy their newest asset.
There was no reason to expect much from The Bourne Identity when it debuted in 2002, coming from the director of Go and featuring the rather dull Matt Damon in the title role. But it’s blisteringly realistic action and engaging central character made for a surprising success, with the sequels (directed by Paul Greengrass) grabbing more than $700 million worldwide.
Both Greengrass and Damon chose not to return for a third sequel, leaving the way open for a new direction, starting with a new super spy in the form of Renner’s Aaron Cross. This time around, the promotional material makes it clear from the off that Cross has had his biology toyed with by his shadowy masters, increasing his speed and strength but sacrificing his memory and his past in the process.
When Operation Outcome implodes, Cross escapes with a scientist (Rachel Weisz) who helped to create their agents. The relatively straightforward chase scenario is further complicated by a backstory which sees Cross’s mission intersect with those of Jason Bourne.
While Bourne creator Robert Ludlum did pen a novel called Legacy this film treads a different narrative path, with a script from brothers Tony and Dan Gilroy. Tony had written on all previous entries in the series and also makes his move into the director’s chair this time around. His previous work is remarkably mixed – including the effective thriller Michael Clayton and the near diabolical Duplicity.
It’s likely that The Bourne Legacy’s biggest boon will be Renner, who has been making quite a name for himself since his Oscar nominated turn in The Hurt Locker. He’s a more obvious action man than Damon ever was but also has an easy charm and some serious acting chops which should help to distinguish this character. Weisz is joined by some familiar faces from the rest of the series, with Joan Allen, Albert Finney and Scott Glenn reprising their roles while Edward Nortonalso makes an appearance.
We've got a good feeling about The Bourne Legacy and we'll have lots more information ahead of its release in August.