In many ways, Universal has taken great pains to explain to audiences that "The Bourne Legacy" starring Jeremy Renner is well-connected to the 'Bourne' series they know and love (and grossed $945 million worlwide). All the while, they're trying to explain that Jeremy Renner is not taking over for Matt Damon. It's a brand new series, yet it's connected to the same universe, got that?
OK, most viewers have that down pat. And now that the teaser trailer has already been released — evincing a very different mood than we've seen in the 'Bourne' series thus far — we're now getting a second phase of messaging from director Tony Gilroy, the architect of the 'Bourne' series, who wrote all three of the films that Damon starred in.
While so far we've heard how the 'Bourne' will be "familiar," in a recent interview with MTV, Gilroy stresses how "The Bourne Legacy" will be different, distinct and its own beast. Asked if this new movie is very structurally different movie from the earlier films Gilroy responds with, "Very much. Oh my God, yeah, for a whole bunch of reasons."
The writer/director also suggests that you won't be seeing the shaky-cam aesthetic that defined the 'Bourne' films Paul Greengrass directed. "Everybody in the world ripped us off," he said. "[That style] been done to death at this point. [The style is] on TV three nights a week, much less Bond and everything else. The worst thing that could have been done would be to just slavishly follow some cookie-cutter pattern of visual style and storytelling style. It's a bigger movie in the terms of the journey of it and the scale of it and the amount of stories in it and where it's going." Amusingly, he reveals that "there were a bunch of wacky ideas that they were trying, none of which were really appealing," when discussing the ideas the studio was batting around when Damon and Greengrass first bailed on what would have been a 4th 'Bourne' film.
So while 'Legacy' is part of this universe, it sounds like it also greatly expands upon the world that's been estabilished thus far and uses the last film as a jumping off point. "What happens in 'Ultimatum' is really the spark that's blowing open the door to this movie," Gilroy said. "Because the Jason Bourne story is exploding out into the public. Being impossible to conceal any further is causing problems for this much larger conspiracy. 'Ultimatum' plays in the background of the very beginning of this film… It's a very different tone, yet it will be very rewarding to people."
Frankly, a new tone and vibe is exactly what this series needs to stay fresh, so consider us fully on board and for many of us "The Bourne Legacy" is up there with "Prometheus" and "The Dark Knight Rises" as one of our most anticipated films this summer.
Meanwhile, there's three new images from the movie, including your first official photo look at Edward Norton who plays the central villain of the film, but from the likes of this image, he may not be a traditional antagonist. "The Bourne Legacy" also stars Rachel Weisz, Oscar Isaac, Stacy Keach, Corey Stoll, and returning from the original series, David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn and Albert Finney. The film hits theaters on August 3rd.