The long search for “The Bourne Legacy” lead has ended with Jeremy Renner cast as a super-assassin who went through the same training as Jason Bourne. After months of meeting and screening several thesps, helmer Tony Gilroy and Universal offered Renner the role last week.
Renner had been a frontrunner for the past few weeks, but sources say there was hesitation over the scope of Renner’s role co-starring with Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” for Paramount in December.
With Renner seen as the natural fit to take over from Cruise as star of the “Mission: Impossible” series, there was uncertainty over whether to offer the actor another spy franchise. Finally, U decided Renner was still the right choice for “Bourne.”
If his deal is completed, Renner would begin shooting the pic in September after filming “The Avengers” for Disney this summer.
Plot details are being kept under wraps. Creating a completely different character allows for the possibility that Matt Damon could return for future installments.
Gilroy met with a handful of actors to test for the hotly sought role, including Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch, Luke Evans and Joel Edgerton. Shia LaBeouf and James McAvoy were also said to be in contention.
Renner is currently filming “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” for Paramount.
He is repped by CAA and Untitled.