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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

April 22, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Jeremy Renner inherits “Bourne,” and more action-hero talk

News came this morning that Jeremy Renner, Oscar-nominated twice in the past two years (for “The Hurt Locker” and “The Town”), will take over from Matt Damon as the central character in “The Bourne Legacy.” Renner will not play Jason Bourne — that character is presumably being retired with Damon — but a similar operative from a covert government program. (No word yet on other casting, but I’m hoping they’ll keep Joan Allen’s scary boss around.) Tony Gilroy will direct, and the film is expected to begin production in September. Other names reportedly considered for the role were Joel Egerton, Dominic Cooper, Garrett Hedlund, Luke Evans, Taylor Kitsch and Renner’s “Hurt Locker” co-star Anthony Mackie.
This vaults Renner to the top in action-hero status; he’ll also be seen in the new “Mission: Impossible” film later this year, as well as the reboot of “The Avengers” (which can’t help but be better than the terrible late-90s version). Good for him; he’s a fine actor who, at 40, has been in the business for a while and earned his “lucky break.” And who else do you think deserves action-hero status? I remember, a while ago, musing that someone should give Angelina Jolie an action-movie franchise; sure enough, someone did. (I’m assuming there’ll be another “Salt” movie one of these days; the ending sure screamed “sequel” to me.) And I’d love to see Jon Hamm as a sort of James Bond-ish action star. Of the names above, Mackie’d be a good choice; and I like the idea of Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a laid-back action hero. You?

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