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When news broke earlier this week that Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass are negotiating a possible return to the Bourne franchise, one of the biggest questions thrown into the air was in regard to the future of the wing of the series staring Jeremy Renner. The Avengers star replaced Damon as the face of Bourne when he made The Bourne Legacy in 2012, but what will happen if the original lead returns? If sources can be believed, it spells bad news for Renner.
The Hollywood Reporter is saying that the in-development Bourne project that is in the works with Jeremy Renner starring and Justin Lin directing is now in "jeopardy" due to the looming possible deal between Universal and Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon. If the studio is able to close a deal with the filmmaker and the actor, sources say that they will put the Bourne Legacy sequel "on the back burner" while moving forward with an idea that is being put together by Greengrass and editor Christopher Rouse.
The good news for the Renner Bourne movie is that for right now things are still business as usual. Producer Frank Marshall told THR that things are moving forward with that project, which is still in the process of getting a script ready. Until a deal is actually completed and signed, the franchise is now merely on two separate paths. "If this one comes together, great," Marshall said about the possible Greengrass-Damon deal. "But they're still just talking."
Throwing an extra twist into the mix, the trade report also throws in a suggestion that audiences may not want to get too excited about a new Greengrass/Damon Bourne film just yet. The director is starting to get very serious about a project over at 20th Century Fox about accused Olympics bomber Richard Jewell, and it's possible that his talk with Universal about the future of Bourne is just part of a strategy to try and get Fox to greenlight that project (something they are currently hesitant to do despite having The Wolf of Wall Street's Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill attached to star).
Right now, the sequel to The Bourne Legacy - a.k.a. Bourne 5 - is still in development and has been scheduled to come out on July 15, 2016 (meaning that it is probably aiming to start production some time in the summer next year). While those seem like pretty firm plans, it sounds like the whole thing could completely change if Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass - the actor and director who took the franchise through its heyday - sign on the dotted line and make it official that they will return. Do you want to see another Jeremy Renner Bourne movie, or would you rather see another Matt Damon entry? Tell us what you think in the comments below.