Jeremy Renner has a big year coming up. He's already sat on the sidelines for "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" and he's one of "The Avengers," but the real test will be when he steps into the shoes of Matt Damon as the lead of Universal's big spy franchise, "The Bourne Legacy." The lid's been pretty tight on the film so far, but a trailer has now arrived via Apple, and it's given us our first real look at Renner in action. And it's not quite what we were expecting.
Director Tony Gilroy ("Michael Clayton"), who penned early drafts of the first three films, is firmly in evidence here, with the neat '70s bars gliding across the screen as Renner's character is put through his paces, by some of the supporting cast, including Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz and Albert Finney, while he seems to have dropped Paul Greengrass' shaky cam aesthetic, which is probably a welcome move at this point. But surprisingly, there isn't a ton of action here, with the focus more on building up Renner's Aaron Cross, and the mythology, with Renner as an agent of a rival program called Outcome, a stronger, more stable equivalent to Treadstone.
It all looks strong, but very much a tease, with no hint as to where the plot's going — Oscar Isaac, who plays another assassin, is nowhere to be seen, although it turns out that David Straithairn is back for the fourth installment, which hadn't yet been revealed. Still, reason for optimism at this point, to be sure. "The Bourne Legacy" hits theaters on August 3rd. Watch the trailer below thanks to The Film Stage, and check it out in HD over at Apple.