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UPDATE: Deadline reports that Joel Edgerton, Josh Hartnett, Paul Dano, Michael Pitt, Oscar Isaac, Michael Fassbender, Luke Evans, Alex Pettyfer, and Benjamin Walker are also in the mix for the part.
One advantage that the Jason Bourne franchise had for its last two sequels is that it didn't have to worry about finding their lead actor. Matt Damon was the super assassin with amnesia and everything was right with the world. But now that Universal is making a fourth installment without Damon, the mission has begun to find the actor that can step into his shoes.
Variety is reporting that a shortlist for director Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy has been leaked and contains five names, four of whom shouldn't really come as a surprise. These stars include Jake Gyllenhaal, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch, and Kellan Lutz. Strangely, the other name on the list is Tobey Maguire, who, with his skinny frame made, for a good Spider-Man, but might be a little out of place as a CIA-trained killing machine. While the article isn't specific as to which names belong where, it says that the list contains both actors Gilroy is interested in for the part and actors the studio is pushing (it's also worth noting that Universal wouldn't comment on this list). Making the casting process all the more interesting, Gilroy wants to screentest all of the actors, meaning that it's entirely possible that an unknown name could still swing in and take the part. The film is currently scheduled to begin production this Spring.
Though I understand that Gilroy is as much a part of the Bourne franchise as Matt Damon or Paul Greengrass, having written all three previous films, I still find it hard wrapping my mind around the idea of a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne. If you can't make a Bond movie without Bond, why can you make a Bourne movie without Bourne? It would be nice to see them work it out and have Damon return to the role sometime down the line, but I will remain skeptical until given reason why I shouldn't be.