Why Jeremy Renner Was Never A Part Of Jason Bourne, According To Paul Greengrass

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With Marvel Studios having everyone in Hollywood thinking about large cinematic universes and crossover movies, we have heard years of rumors about Universal Pictures plans for the Bourne franchise. Specifically, many have wondered if it would be possible for us to one day see Matt Damon's Jason Bourne cross paths with Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross -- the lead in Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy. This idea is certainly still on the table for the future of the series, but there is a very clear reason why Renner doesn't show up in the upcoming Jason Bourne: Greengrass simply wanted to just tell a story about his titular hero.

With Paul Greengrass currently out and about doing press for the forthcoming blockbuster release, I had the pleasure of hopping on the phone with the director earlier this month. While we discussed many different aspects of the movie, one of the last topics of conversation was about the narrative opportunity in Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross getting to meet. I asked Greengrass if it was ever an idea that was on the table for the project, but he explained why it never was:

Never a consideration for this project. Jeremy is a great actor. I just wanted to tell a Jason Bourne story. That's all I wanted to tell, and that was all I was going to make. As for what happens in the future, frankly that's not my job.

That future that Paul Greengrass mentioned is currently very unclear. Obviously the box office performance and reception of Jason Bourne will have a very important impact on how Universal plans out the franchise in the next few years, but there are some developments that are already in the works. For example, before Greengrass and Matt Damon were confirmed to return, Universal was already hard at work on an untitled sequel centering on Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross. Justin Lin was even attached as a director (though this was even before Star Trek Beyond). It's entirely possible that the studio will continue to try and make that movie happen - and it's worth mentioning that Renner is keen on the crossover film happening someday.

All eyes will be on the Bourne franchise this weekend, as Jason Bourne arrives in theaters on Friday and will be doing box office battle with the comedy Bad Moms, the thriller Nerve, and Star Trek Beyond in its second week of release. While we wait to see how it does, how do you think the series should move in the next few years? Would you like to see the return of Aaron Cross, or do you just want more Jason Bourne? Or do you think maybe it should just come to an end! Hit the comments below with your thoughts.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.