Although Matt Damon won’t be appearing in Tony Gilroy’s The Bourne Legacy, the film will maintain the continuity of the Bourne trilogy and revolve around an all-new deadly agent instead. Reports were in last month that Gilroy would be meeting with numerous candidates for the lead role, which is considered one of the hottest for up-and-coming actors right now.

Now it seems that the field has been narrowed down to four young men, who will be testing for Bourne 4 beginning in April – and for those who were concerned, you can take comfort in the knowledge that stars like Shia LaBeouf and Robert Pattinson are not among their ranks.

Deadline says that the current pack of actors set to test so far includes Dominic Cooper (The Escapist), Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom), Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans), and Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy). Logan Marshall-Green (Devil) is speculated as being a potential candidate as well, along with Taylor Kitsch (Wolverine).

Edgerton is starring in this year’s Thing prequel, and Evans may have appeared in three separate action-adventure titles – Immortals, The Raven, and The Three Musketeers – before the year is out.

Marshall-Green recently signed on as the male lead in Prometheus and Cooper will play a supporting role in next year’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Kitsch is also set to show off his leading man chops in 2012 with Peter Berg’s Battleship.

Hedlund in 'TRON: Legacy'

Hedlund is the only actor of this lot who is not yet locked to appear in any tentpole pics or big-budget blockbusters over the next two years. He’s shortlisted for the Akira remake as Kaneda, which is in some ways a role that’s easier to picture Hedlund taking-on than that of an efficient killing machine. To be fair, though, the same could’ve easily been said about Damon prior to his signing on as Jason Bourne – and we all know what an excellent bit of casting that turned out to be.

Given the options, there’s not really one actor that stands head above the others to star in Bourne Legacy – for me, that is. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses as performers, have already proven to be adequate in roles that were either physically-demanding and/or emotionally intense, and seem equally qualified to play “the new Bourne,” so to speak. What do you think?

The Bourne Legacy is tentatively scheduled to hit theaters on August 3rd, 2012.

Source: Deadline