Jeremy Renner to take over "Bourne" franchise

Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:02pm EDT
 
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By Jay A. Fernandez

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - There's barely enough Jeremy Renner to go around.

"The Hurt Locker" star, who was also Oscar nominated for his work in "The Town" last year, has been handed an offer for the starring role in Tony Gilroy's "The Bourne Legacy."

Gilroy, who wrote or co-wrote the first three films in Universal's "Bourne" saga, has been testing actors for the last few weeks to play a brand new lead character distinct from Matt Damon's Jason Bourne (Damon isn't returning). But Renner is the guy everybody wants right now.

The problem, as always, is scheduling. It took a while to work out his ability to star in Paramount's "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," which he's shooting now for a March release. That followed filming his role in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," also for Paramount, which hits theaters in December.

Then there's the little movie "The Avengers," in which he plays Hawkeye for Marvel Studios and Disney. That comes out in May next year, but audiences will get a sneak peek at him in "Thor," which Paramount hammers into theaters in two weeks to kick off the summer.

"Avengers" starts shooting soon and will continue filming into August and September with Joss Whedon at the helm and a slew of other superheroes on set.

But Renner had been considering starring opposite Eric Bana in Sheldon Turner's revenge thriller "By Virtue Fall" in the fall. It's a project Renner has been flirting with for most of the last year. Now it looks like he will instead jump from "Avengers" right into his third (!!) potential franchise with "Bourne," then shoot "Virtue" after the New Year.

Given his packed schedule, Renner may need to be superhuman after all.

(Editing by Zorianna Kit)