The fourth Bourne movie is getting underway and it’s not starring Matt Damon. In fact, it’s not even starring his character for whom the movie is titled after. Instead, director Tony Gilroy is taking over the franchise reins from Paul Greengrass and giving us The Bourne Legacy, aptly titled after a story which takes place within the Damon-Bourne continuity and follows a new character dealing with the consequences of the events from the Bourne trilogy.
James Franco (Rise of the Apes), hot off his acclaimed role in this year’s 127 Hours and preparing to co-host the Oscars this weekend, was widely rumored for the lead part but we now know that Gilroy and Universal Pictures have opened up a wide net for their casting and we have the latest on who’s being considered for the part.
Variety had the first scoop on the current status of the Bourne 4 casting and point out that Tony Gilroy is meeting with several actors this week for the part. His intention is to screen-test all of the candidates, meaning some of the higher profile options may not wish to partake and that it’s open to lesser known talent.
The five candidates they list as meeting with Gilroy about leading the cast of The Bourne Legacy are Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch and Kellan Lutz. In my books, you can scratch Maguire off the list right away. He’s too old and I can’t picture him headlining this style of action flick. I can picture him dancing in Spider-Man 3 for some reason though…
Lutz is expanding his profile outside of the Twilight franchise big time and has a key role in Tarsem Singh’s Immortals this Fall, but I don’t believe he can headline this type of movie just yet. Hedlund and Gyllenhaal are definite potentials but Hedlund may have a bit of TRON: Legacy stigma attached to him and Gyllenhaal’s a busy (and likely, expensive) man.
Out of these five, I am leaning towards up-and-comer Taylor Kitsch, who landed lead parts as the title character in the epic-scale productions of John Carter of Mars and as Naval Commander in Peter Berg’s Battleship. His schedule is clear later this year and he’ll be living in the spotlight next summer with his two biggest roles yet. He could be the new Sam Worthington if Universal banks on him with this franchise as well…
That’s not all though! Deadline is also reporting the same with no credit to Variety, but has additional names to add to the list: Benjamin Walker, Alex Pettyfer, Joel Edgerton, Josh Hartnett, Paul Dano, Michael Pitt, Oscar Isaac, Michael Fassbender and Luke Evans.
Of this list, I’d love to see Dano get a lead role in something like Bourne. He’s incredibly talented and is finally starting to get some recognition. Walker and Fassbender are both great choices as well, with Walker just landing the lead in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, while Fassbender is in very high demand. I’m going to say “no” to Hartnett and Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) and “yes” to Luke Evans (also starring in Immortals). Pitt (Boardwalk Empire) and Edgerton (The Thing) are interesting and unknown-to-the-mainstream choices but I don’t expect Gilroy will go that direction. That being said, my dark horse pick is Oscar Isaac who was brilliant in Robin Hood and has a part in Sucker Punch which releases next month.
I’m betting that Damon will have a cameo of some sorts, just to justify the shared continuity and “Bourne” title – Especially if he’s proclaiming interest in returning as Jason Bourne in later franchise installments, possibly Bourne 5.
Expect the list of candidates to shrink and change as we go forward. The Bourne Legacy is scheduled to hit theaters August 3, 2012.