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For a minute there it was simple. Matt Damon made three Jason Bourne movies then he decided he was done. So they made the spin-off The Bourne Legacy with Jeremy Renner. Then Damon had to go and complicate things by deciding to come back to the franchise. So what happens to Renner? While things have been far from clear for quite some time, it does look like both franchises are moving forward.
Today SlashFilm published an interview with Frank Marshall, producer of the Bourne films (and about a million other things). When they asked him how Renner’s character would fit into the planned Matt Damon Bourne movie, Marshall had a single sentence response:
They’re still two different projects, two different films.
But what a sentence that is as it speaks volumes. When Damon and Paul Greengrass announced plans to return to the original Bourne franchise it threw everything for Jeremy Renner and his Bourne alterego, Aaron Cross, into doubt. The planned sequel for Renner was postponed, which in turn caused Justin Lin to pick up the available Star Trek 3 job. While Marshall confirmed a few months ago that there were still plans to move forward with Renner as part of the franchise, we didn’t know in what capacity that would be. Would he join Damon in the new film? Marshall seemed to imply that Renner’s character would be kept separate but he stopped short of confirming anything.
Now we have some confirmation that Aaron Cross will be seen on film once again in his own sequel and that the project is still moving forward, even if it has been put in line behind Damon’s return. While a team up film must be on the agenda at some point (can we call it the Bourne Cinematic Universe?) it looks like that won’t happen until after we see a direct sequel to the The Bourne Legacy, but that won’t even start until after Lin is finished with the new Star Trek.
While Bourne Legacy was not as big a hit as the previous Bourne movies, it was still successful and Renner has gone on to make a much bigger name for himself since then as Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. One would think that Renner’s current star power could draw several more bodies into a theater this time around for a dedicated sequel.
Now that we know that the project is happening, hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to find out what’s going on with it. We’re still over a year away from Damon’s next Bourne film, which is releasing a couple weeks after Justin Lin’s new Star Trek, and hopefully we won’t have to wait that long to find out what’s next for Aaron Cross.