Universal Pictures has released a new poster and teaser trailer for their upcoming super-spy sequel The Bourne Legacy. You can check them both out here below.
The gritty, globe-trotting action franchise inspired by the novels of the late Robert Ludlum seemed to have wrapped up with 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, which was star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass’ farewell to the series that made them both household names in Hollywood. But never underestimate a studio’s willingness to exploit a viable cash cow for every penny its worth.
With Damon and his character, amnesiac government assassin Jason Bourne, out of the picture, The Bourne Legacy will focus on a new protagonist named Kenneth Kitson, played by Oscar-nominee and action man of the moment Jeremy Renner. Ever since rocketing to stardom with his intense and committed performance in 2009’s The Hurt Locker, Renner has set out to lock up integral roles in every major action franchise the film industry has to offer; other than giving a solid supporting performance in the recent Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol Renner has also taken on the role of Marvel Comics’ archer extraordinaire Clint Barton/Hawkeye in the forthcoming super team adventure The Avengers.
Paul Greenglass, the gifted British filmmaker who directed the second and third (and thus the best) of the Matt Damon Bourne trilogy, declined to return to the series back when the studio was desiring a third re-teaming of the director and Damon. His decision paved the way for Damon to turn down the chance to reprise the role that helped make a bankable name and for Tony Gilroy, the writer of the first three Bourne films and the director of Duplicity and the Oscar-winning Michael Clayton, to assume directorial duties. Gilroy also co-wrote the screenplay with his younger brother Dan (Real Steel).
Joining Renner are series veterans Joan Allen, Albert Finney, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, and new characters played by Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Oscar Isaac, and Stacy Keach. Both Norton and Isaac were in the early runnning for the Kitson role before Renner nabbed the part.
It will interesting to see how the Damon and Greengrass-less The Bourne Legacy fares among the major tentpole blockbusters and sequels this summer given how influential the first trilogy was on modern action cinema. Seemingly every popular franchise from Bond to Batman and even Mission: Impossible have adapted the grounded, intense style of filming and editing. Even 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which starred Edward Norton, featured a chase sequence through a Brazilian favela that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Bourne film. The original series has no doubt been a groundbreaking series of films and the idea of continuing the story set down in the first three films with mostly new characters is a bold move that may pay off handsomely should all the pieces come together. Judging by the first trailer the filmmakers and Universal are off to a good start.
The Bourne Legacy opens on August 3, 2012.