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Will Ed Norton Go Head To Head With Jeremy Renner In THE BOURNE LEGACY?

Nordling here.

Tony Gilroy's THE BOURNE LEGACY is looking better and better, even without Matt Damon playing the titular character in it.  Variety is reporting tonight that Ed Norton is in talks to play the film's villain, going against Jeremy Renner in the new film, which will take place in the Bourne universe as Renner's character seeks his own identity.  The film already has Renner and Rachel Weisz in the cast, and adding Norton as the villain ups the ante for this action thriller.  Although Jason Bourne does not appear in the film, I'd imagine there will be some kind of callback to him and since Damon hasn't discounted returning to the iconic role, it's quite possible if this film is successful that we'll be seeing all of these characters again in a new Bourne film.

For myself, the Bourne films got better as they went further along in the series, so THE BOURNE LEGACY could very well end up being the best of the franchise.  I'm on record as pretty much despising shaky-cam action scenes, but the only time they really worked for me was in these films, and in THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM the sequence in Morocco is still one of my favorite set-pieces in a long time.  If Renner, Weisz, Norton, and Gilroy can bring that intensity to the film, it could be a success, with or without Matt Damon.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • July 12, 2011, 9:05 p.m. CST


    by gangrel76547

    Sounds good to me.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Is anyone really interested in this kind of spinoff?

    by D.Vader

    Sounds more like a rehash.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:07 p.m. CST

    This film is now relevant to my interests

    by majorax

  • July 12, 2011, 9:13 p.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    Doesn't he always either piss everyone off and not get invited back, or take his ball and go home? He's good but his history doesn't suggest a guy who will endure through a franchise.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Recent Memorable action set pieces...

    by Tank Williams

    Children of Men. Only recent film that comes to mind that blew me away action wise and it wasn't even an action movie, but great set pieces. Oh and The Dark Knight was damn impressive. The first Bourne was the best, and without Greengrass. Had no shaky action scenes, resulting in me not throwing up. I prefered Greengrass's 911 flick...

  • July 12, 2011, 9:14 p.m. CST

    To be perfectly honest...

    by notcher

    I don't really give a shit. The series is dead, and it was never so popular that it's begging for a reboot. Norton doesn't make it any more interesting either. I like Norton, but he's not cool.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:16 p.m. CST

    by Garytown

    Countdown until Ed Norton starts demanding to rewrite the script and try to take over the editing process in 3...2...

  • July 12, 2011, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Too bad they won't go head to head in THE AVENGERS

    by 3D-Man

    Ah well... I'm sure Ruffalo will do a fine job

  • July 12, 2011, 9:21 p.m. CST

    The Bourne Editing Room Takeover

    by MaxCalifornia.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:26 p.m. CST

    The contortions that scripts suffer, for a brand hook.

    by kabong

    "Although Jason Bourne does not appear in the film" <p> Then it should be the no-Bourne Legacy, quasi-Bourne, Bourne-esque, sorta-Bourne, like-Bourne-but-different . . .

  • July 12, 2011, 9:29 p.m. CST

    I'm with stiguy...

    by chaburchak

    The first Bourne was the best, especially that fight in the Paris apartment. I was really jonesin' for the follow-up, but spent most of that movie staring at the floor and trying not to lose my lunch.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:34 p.m. CST

    &quot;Bourne&quot" without Bourne

    by Gene Cowan

    I'm very pro-Renner and have no qualms with Norton. In fact, this does sound mighty entertaining now. I'll probably end up enjoying it quite a bit, but yes ... is it really BOURNE rather than "like-Bourne-but-different" without Matty?

  • In fact I didn't. I disliked all of these movies. I hate the shitty action and bad editing which took all the fun out of the international intrigue for me. Worse fights than James Bond movies had 50 years earlier, piss off.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST

    I still have hope for Jeremy Renner

    by vin_diggler

    I saw Renner play Jeffery Dalmer about ten years ago in a direct to video film. It was not a very good movie but I remember thinking that this Renner guy is gonna make it big some day. I still believe this, he came close with Hurt Locker but I don't think we have seen his best performance yet. I am not sure this is the role to make him an A list actor but if anyone can replace Matt Damon I think he can do it.

  • July 12, 2011, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Damn! This would be Excellent....

    by BlackBriar

    The Fight sequences would be off the wall Badass!

  • July 12, 2011, 10:17 p.m. CST

    I like the casting except Weisz.

    by moonlightdrive

    Not a fan of hers and don't like looking at her face and acting but that's ok. Norton would be good as a bad guy because he is a good actor and I don't like him much either haha So he would work for me as a bad guy. I don't mind him, just gone off him. Jeremy Renner I really like and think he's very good. So the Bourne character isn't in the film. I thought Renner was just replacing Damon as that character but I guess not. So what's the story? Will Renner just be waking up like Damon did and have to find out what's going on only to eventually discover he was part of the same program Damon was?

  • You're a fucking idiot dude. And i can guaranfuckingtee you r one ugly john merrick looking sonovabitch. Seriously, keep your stupid, ugly little "thoughts" to yourself. Not even kidding.

  • July 12, 2011, 10:32 p.m. CST

    The best part of Bourne Ultimatum: PADDY CONSIDINE

    by DanielPlainviewOnVacationInBoston

  • July 12, 2011, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Bring back Edgar Ramirez as Paz

    by SoupDragon

    Anyone who's seen Carlos knows how well he can carry a film. And at the end of Ultimatum it looked like his character was on the same trajectory as Bourne. They have an interesting replacement protagonist ready to go, why not follow up on that?

  • I really wish I could get into these movies. I love how much talent is behind each one and I love that smart action thrillers can still succeed with a huge fanbase. They've just never clicked with me. Not trying to troll, not trying to be a dick. I am the exception to the rule. Regardless, Norton's the man and I'm sure he'll do well in this. The creative team is getting pretty damn solid as it moves along.

  • July 12, 2011, 10:47 p.m. CST


    by Bass Ackwards

    That'd be a much more organic and natural extension, rather than just introducing a brand new character with Renner as Bourne-lite. I'm still optimistic on this as I love the first three films (just recently watched all three back to back and think they still hold up fantastically), and Gilroy's Michael Clayton was a great flick too. But casting of Renner just strikes a very unexciting note for me. Hope I;m proven wrong though. I'm curious if this film will continue Bourne's love of the written word? The first flick he fought a guy off using a pen. The second flick he used a magazine. The third flick we saw him use a book. But I'm worried that this flick will see him using a tablet computer or laptop. Damn this digital age.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:08 p.m. CST

    I'm alright with it

    by aversiontherapy2

    If they can repeat the formula, smarter-than-average plot/characters, great action scenes (love the camera following Bourne through that window in Morocco), then I'm all for it. If you're against it then just don't watch it.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Jeremy Renner and the Sloppy Seconds

    by BlackBauer0320

    Interesting that he is picking up the pieces after Ethan Hunt and Jason Bourne. Time will definitely tell if he is indeed an A-lister. I've liked him quite a bit in stuff dating all the way back to Dahmer and S.W.A.T. but am still not sure if he can carry something. On a site note, there was something about Julia Stiles in the last Bourne movie that was immensely attractive to me, and I've never really fancied her. Thoroughly enjoyed the emotion she brought to that fight scene between Bourne and Desh as well.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:21 p.m. CST

    The Paul Greengrass quick cutting Bourne style films are tired

    by Bobo_Vision

    Rehashing them with a new actor is exhausting just thinking about it. Renner brings zero excitement to this idea....neither does Norton as a villain.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:27 p.m. CST


    by Bobo_Vision

    In that case, you should search the internet for the sex scene between Julia Stiles and Mekhi Pfifer. Nevermind...I did it for you: <p>

  • July 12, 2011, 11:33 p.m. CST

    The first one was the best

    by double_l88

    This is a good cast though.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:45 p.m. CST


    by BlackBauer0320

    Sadly enough, I've actually seen O and remember the scene. The reason that Bourne movie sticks with me is because I've never liked her much or found her attractive in anything else. Appreciate the time and effort though sir.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:46 p.m. CST

    No problem, bb

    by Bobo_Vision

    If she does anymore sex scenes in her post-Bourne can be sure I'll post them at one time or another in the talkbacks.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Who cares, both actors are awesome, will see this opening night.

    by ganymede3010

    Sounds like a great action movie.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:59 p.m. CST

    The world needs yet another 'America is evil' movie

    by SmokingRobot

    I know, let's have the CIA shooting innocent civilians in a train station. I'm sure that happens all the time.

  • July 13, 2011, 12:19 a.m. CST

    I love Matt

    by Anthony Torchia

    Not only as an actor but in a sweaty, vulgar fashion too. I'll stream this on Netflix.

  • July 13, 2011, 12:22 a.m. CST

    ...Jason Bourne does not appear in the film...

    by bubcus

    I didn't want to see a Bourne film without Matt Damon in the role. So if his character isn't even IN this film but it takes place in his universe and follows the previous films, I'm open to seeing this. It has my curiosity, let's see if it delivers. The Bourne Supremacy is one of my absolute favorite films alongside The Empire Strikes Back.

  • July 13, 2011, 12:48 a.m. CST

    this all sounds awesome

    by jsfithaca

    renner and norton are awesome.

  • or it could very well end up being the worst of the franchise...what a goofy, empty statement....just hype based on hope with nothing else behidn it.

  • July 13, 2011, 1:27 a.m. CST


    by Daniel

  • July 13, 2011, 1:47 a.m. CST

    rachel weiz vagina

    by ryan

    i bet its nice...jus sayin

  • July 13, 2011, 1:49 a.m. CST

    He'll do this but not Avengers?

    by Mattman

    Great choice, dickhead.

  • July 13, 2011, 2:10 a.m. CST


    by Bass Ackwards

    Norton was on board for Avengers, he had even met with Whedon and cleared his schedule for it. Just like with Terrence Howard, it was Marvel that made the decision to recast the actor, apparently having not enjoyed the experience of working with him on the Hulk.

  • July 13, 2011, 3:55 a.m. CST

    First Bourne film was easily the best

    by Mr Kite

    Greengrass seemed to get all the credit for remaking it twice and adding f**king shaky cam. I nearly walked out of the cinema during the second movie.

  • July 13, 2011, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Renner's character seeks his own identity

    by buggerbugger

    Does nobody want to voluntarily work as a cold-hearted CIA assassin nowadays? Do they **all** have to be brainwashed into doing a job they'd renege on once the conditioning loses its grip? That's not very patriotic at all. These guys are the anti-Bonds. Do they have to be brainwashed into fucking the hot chicks they meet on their missions, too? HANDLER: Go on, fuck the hot chick, do it for your country! BOURNE (hands shielding eyes): I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna... (pukes)

  • Taking over both the Bourne and Mission: Impossible franchises?

  • July 13, 2011, 7:13 a.m. CST

    The last Bourne was cool, the other two were a little mediocre

    by Nabster

    The first one was definitely mediocre. The second one was cool, but a little to shaky and bare in story.

  • July 13, 2011, 7:24 a.m. CST

    Yay spinoffs! It'll be like U.S. MARSHALLS!

    by Spandau Belly

    Hopefully thaty means Joan Allen in a chicken costume!

  • July 13, 2011, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Make a TERMINATOR movie without a Terminator

    by Spandau Belly

    Just make it about Doctor Silbermann's average day.

  • July 13, 2011, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Make an ALIEN movie without an Alien

    by Spandau Belly

    It'll be like a road trip movie, only in space.

  • July 13, 2011, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Fucking Norton... such a SCMUCK on the HULK!

    by Jake Pantlin

    I worked behind the scenes on the Incredible Hulk when they were shooting in Toronto. The guy was rarely on set (only when filming his takes - being driven from his hotel), never interacted with the other actors, demanded rewrite after rewrite, and never showed up to the wrap party, even though he was still in town. Such a scmuck! I was somewhat disappointed that Hulk was recast, for contnuity reasons, but I wasn't surprised at all. Nobody liked him on that film.

  • July 13, 2011, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Bourne is Bourne is Bourne

    by OldDickLemon

    It was established in the previous series that "Jason Bourne" was just a code name for the Damon character, so theoretically, couldn't Renner still be playing "Jason Bourne", but simply another operative with a different history, given the same code name?

  • July 13, 2011, 8:36 a.m. CST

    *I worked behind the scenes on the Incredible Hulk*

    by KilliK

    prove it boy.otherwise you are only an anonymous,hateful sycophant.

  • July 13, 2011, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Really? People hated the Bourne movies?

    by Orbots Commander

    I personally thought they were some of the best action flicks of the last decade. The last entry in particular was really well done, especially, yes, the Morocco sequence where Damon runs across buildings, then leaps into a balcony window and has an epic fight where he kills a guy with a towel. Although I'm not the biggest shaky-cam fan, it's often used when it shouldn't be, it WAS effective in this series of movies, to give the fight scenes a kinetic, claustrophobic feel. The use of the technique in Quantum of Solace, however, was misplaced.

  • July 13, 2011, 9:22 a.m. CST

    I guess the "Bourne" title works without the character...

    by Hipshot

    Because that was never his real name in the first place. If a code name, then it's reasonable to tell the story of other men who went through the same program, and were treated in similar ways.

  • July 13, 2011, 9:29 a.m. CST

    if this is the first of a new trilogy they will only get worse

    by chev chelios

    and Jeremy Renner is fugly and boring and looks like he was a boxer for ten years before he started acting.

  • July 13, 2011, 9:33 a.m. CST

    D'Agostino should hook up Matt Frewer.

    by Pvt. Duke

    Frewer can play a weasely government-type.

  • July 13, 2011, 9:58 a.m. CST

    So they could pull a Mission Impossible also with Renner?

    by Andrew Coleman

    I find this odd that Ghost Patrol is basically Tom Cruise handing off the series to Renner. They are going to do the same thing with Bourne? Seems odd using the same actor for the hand off. Still Ghost Patrol looks awesome... They need to make sure Bourne 4 or whatever needs to stand out and not just be a retread of the other films. Hollywood just wants franchises... Why because we the audience obviously love them. Look at Transformers... Horrible fucking movies but people really love going out and seeing film that are part of a franchise. It makes it an event. Look at Pirates 4... Studios will keep pushing franchises on us until we stop going which will never happen.

  • July 13, 2011, 9:58 a.m. CST

    killik ...

    by Jake Pantlin

    killik - I've been posting on these boards for a while now. I'm not someone new just posting random BS. I am ex-military, and was hired by Zamaret Kleiman to work on TIH to handle prop guns, and was alos a military extra in a number of scenes. I worked on the film for 6 weeks, between late Aug to Oct 2006. I worked on the scenes filmed at a park in Toronto, where you see Tim Roth fight the Hulk after he gets the super soldier serum. It was suppose to be a 2 week shoot, but it went over time and over budget, which was bad for the film but great fopr me ;)

  • July 13, 2011, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Good cast.

    by Truxton Spangler

    I enjoyed the original trilogy as action flicks, but was never really enthused about the central conceit of them to elevate them any higher.

  • July 13, 2011, 12:28 p.m. CST


    by Arkhaminmate001

  • July 13, 2011, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Something about these

    by lucky slevin

    just isnt for me. ive tried,, lord knows ive tried. but i just dont like them. they werent "bad", they just werent Great. and why make anything less than great?

  • July 13, 2011, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Bourne movies are like Harry Potter movies

    by DoctorWho?

    They're seemingly done well and yet...2 days later I can't recall the plot. All of the movies have interchangeable titles and plots. Sound and fury... signifying nothing.

  • July 13, 2011, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Wow, some pretentious people here

    by Stormwatcher movies really sucked....WTF? Shut up. What was great to you? Wait. Don't bother telling me, I will only be thinking about how much smarter I am than you the whole time.

  • July 14, 2011, 1:50 a.m. CST

    Bourne got a facelift. Bam! One line of dialogue explains it all.

    by Onin Solstice

  • July 14, 2011, 1:18 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    "On a site note, there was something about Julia Stiles in the last Bourne movie that was immensely attractive to me, and I've never really fancied her." I know what you mean. Stiles isn't conventionally attractive, but there is something undeniably sexy about her.

  • July 14, 2011, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Best Bourne movie

    by Keith

    For me, Supremacy (2nd). I thought the shakey-cam was perfect in that. It went OTT in Ultimatum to the point where I couldn't follow some sequences. Supremacy is just beautifully assembled.

  • July 14, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    Where did that whole thing come from? Is it supposed to be some kind of gag whereby portraying one of the smartest and most eloquent people working in Hollywood as a mental incompetent is comedic? I always felt I was missing something there.

  • Is her character still on the run? Or does she get to come back to the CIA?

  • July 14, 2011, 2:12 p.m. CST


    by El Cimarron

    but is Renner going to say the trademark catchphrase when he's in a club full of bad guys and chicks? BITCHES, COME!!! 'cuz that was awesome the first time. ... what?

  • July 14, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Who gives a flying crap.

    by Arkhaminmate001