We’ve rounded up early impressions on yet another big title previewed for those who attended CinemaCon 2012. Today’s potential blockbuster-in-question is the somewhat-debated new Jason Bourne franchise installment, The Bourne Legacy.

A teaser trailer for Bourne Legacy premiered earlier this year, but it failed to provide much insight as to how exactly this new flick – which revolves around a different Treadstone assassin named Aaron Cross (The Avengers‘ Jeremy Renner) – fits into the continuity of its predecessors. However, the footage shown at CinemaCon managed to do just that – while also offering a better taste of director Tony Gilroy’s approach to shooting Bourne-style action.

According to Cinema Blend‘s Eric Eisenberg, the Bourne Legacy CinemaCon preview essentially revealed that the movie takes place concurrently with the events in The Bourne Ultimatum, similar to how the timelines for Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum overlap with one another. Seeing how Gilroy co-wrote all three previous Bourne movies, it makes sense that he’d carry over that strategy with Legacy, so as to better thread the films’ narratives together.

In his recap report, Eisenberg also discussed what the Bourne Legacy sizzle reel offered, in terms of revealing co-star Rachel Weisz’ role in the film – along with how convincingly Renner pulls off the unstoppable killer act.

… Going by what I saw in the footage, [Weisz] will be playing a doctor named Marta who works as part of the super-secret Treadstone operation, but gets in a bit of trouble. There was a part in the presentation where two agents approach Weisz (one of which is played by Donna Murphy), attempt to strap her to a chair, and hold a gun to her head. Fortunately, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is there to rescue her in badass fashion, taking out the baddies with skill and ingenuity (there’s a part where he uses a fire extinguisher to fire a nail at one of the agents)…

I can also say this with plenty of confidence: ‘The Bourne Legacy’ won’t be leaving audiences wanting for more action. Though the crowd in the theater only got to see snippets from the various sequences, Renner is shown kicking a whole lot of ass and there some hints at a motorcycle chase. Other things featured were a cabin being blown to bits by a missile, a gun-toting Aaron Cross in the snow, and Cross running across rooftops.

Cross, as described here, certainly sounds like a chip off the same block that gave rise to Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), what with their shared ability to think on their feet and improvise using their surroundings – Renner’s fire extinguisher move in particular recalls Bourne’s maneuvers with a magazine in Supremacy. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how receptive general audiences are to Renner playing such a recognizably Bourne-like character.

Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross in 'The Bourne Legacy'

One aspect which will help Renner and Bourne Legacy to stand on their own is that the film won’t be re-hashing the soul-searching themes that defined the original Bourne movie trilogy. What exactly Cross’ motivation will be – seeing how he’s firmly aware of his identity and retains all memories of his past actions – remains to be seen. The obvious (predictable?) route would be for Cross, inspired by Jason Bourne’s rejection of the cold and calculating system he previously served, to seek some form of redemption on his own, by setting out to take down Treadstone. On the other hand, the reasoning behind Cross going rogue could be much more complicated than that.

At this point, all we have to judge Bourne Legacy by is some promising early footage, the noteworthy cast (including, Edward Norton) and an Oscar-nominated filmmaker in Gilroy (Michael Clayton) calling the shots. On those merits alone, this film sounds like it has the potential to be a pretty strong addition to the Bourne series.

The Bourne Legacy arrives in theaters around the U.S. on August 3rd, 2012.

Source: Cinema Blend