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A spy movie is only as good as its hero and its villain. In Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne, the franchise that bears his name already has a fantastic hero, and when the actor returns to the role for Bourne 5, he’s going to face off against one hell of an antagonist, or at least an actor who plays one hell of a villain.
Variety reports that acclaimed French actor Vincent Cassel will play the primary baddie Jason Bourne must face off against in his next adventure. There aren’t a ton of details available about his role, but the 48-year-old actor will reportedly play a high-level assassin tracking the title hero. Whether or not he’s been sent after the amnesiac spy or is out for a little revenge on his own dime (it’s easy to imagine Bourne taking out someone important to the hitman), remains to be seen, but Cassel is the latest in a line of antagonists that includes notable actors like Karl Urban, Clive Owen, and Edgar Ramirez.
Cassel is most known to mainstream audiences for roles in films like Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, but he’s also shown up in the likes of Black Swan, Eastern Promises, and even lent his voice to Shrek. In a career dating back to 1988, and including no less than 70 roles, Cassel has never been one to shy away from a challenge, risk, or controversy, especially evident in his role in Gaspar Noe’s notorious Irreversible, which is all three.
While we don’t know much about the character Cassel will play, we know even less about the larger plot of Bourne 5. However, when he shows up on set, he won’t be the only new face. Tommy Lee Jones is set to join the fun, as is Ex Machina star Alicia Vikander, and both of those additions should bring quite a bit to the table.
There will be a number of previous players from the franchise making an appearance in front of and behind the camera. In addition to Matt Damon, director Paul Greengrass, who helmed The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, the two previous installments (the second and third), will be back for another round. Julia Stiles is also set to reprise her role as Nicky Parsons, a former CIA analyst and Jason Bourne ally.
Filming on Bourne 5, whatever it winds up being called (in an interview in advance of Ultimatum, Damon suggested any future chapter should be titled The Bourne Redundancy), will begin later this year, and is scheduled to hit theaters on July 29, 2016.