Jeremy Renner's The Bourne Legacy Casting Was The Result Of Compromise

By Eric Eisenberg 2011-04-25 16:04:52discussion comments
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I understand why studios meddle in the productions of their blockbusters. After all, they are fronting hundreds of millions of dollars to get the movies made and it makes sense that they would want some assurance that they will be making a profit. What sucks is that studio interference can really get in the way of a director's vision. Take The Wolverine for example. Darren Aronofsky was set to make an movie that would make up for both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but instead Fox wasn't willing to give him the control he desired, so he understandably bailed. Let's hope Universal doesn't keep pushing Tony Gilroy's buttons.

Before the news came out last week that Jeremy Renner was to be offered the lead in the Gilroy-directed The Bourne Legacy, Vulture had reported that Aussie actor Joel Edgerton was being heavily considered for the role. Now the site has has asked some questions to figure out what exactly happened, and apparently the answer was "a compromise." According to insiders, Gilroy wanted Edgerton for the lead role because he wouldn't "pull focus" from the character, which they will have to quickly establish in the Bourne timeline. On the other side, Universal wanted " to go younger and cooler," more interested in actors like Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch, Colin Farrell or Shia LaBeouf. Many of the higher profile actors were eliminated because they wouldn't do screentests, as their agents "feared they’ll have to audition for every role going forward." Fearing that the end of their movie rights given to them by the Robert Ludlum estate, Gilroy eventually let go of his Edgerton idea and the two parties agreed on Renner, who, while 40 years old has been nominated for an Oscar twice in two years.

I could be wrong here, but how is this a compromise that favors Gilroy in any way? By the time that The Bourne Legacy arrives on August 3, 2012, both Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and The Avengers will have both arrived and departed from theaters, making Renner an international superstar. Age isn't even really an excuse as Edgerton is 36. If Gilroy thinks that Universal actually threw him a bone with this one then he might be in denial.
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