Against all expectations, The Bourne Identity was a huge hit that beget a second huge hit – The Bourne Supremacy – and a third huge hit – The Bourne Ultimatum. Naturally, a fourth Bourne film was bound to happen, but fans hoped it would involve series star Matt Damon and critically-acclaimed director Paul Greengrass.

Instead, Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) took the job of directing The Bourne Legacy back in October and now the Oscar-nominated Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town) has officially been offered the part of “Martin,” the new series protagonist.

Deadline has confirmed Latino Review‘s scoop that Renner will take-on leading man duties for the sequel. Renner will play Martin, like Bourne before him, a super-spy on the run from the top-secret government program that trained him. While the program is not Treadstone, the one that produced Jason Bourne, it’s very similar and somehow even more dangerous.

As previously stated, Jason Bourne as played by Matt Damon will not be appearing in the film but his existence will be felt throughout. Hence the title.

Apparently, Jeremy Renner managed to beat out a whole host of up and coming actors, including Joel Edgerton (Warrior, The Thing prequel), Garrett Hudlund (TRON: Legacy), and Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights). Frankly, I’m surprised/grateful that they didn’t go with one of the “pretty boys.”

This will be the fourth major action role Jeremy Renner has taken since being nominated for an Oscar for his work in The Hurt Locker and The Town, and the third where he plays a U.S. government agent. He recently finished filming Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, he’s currently filming Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, and he’s getting ready to start shooting The Avengers as the S.H.I.E.L.D.-affiliated super-archer Hawkeye.

Matt Damon as Jason Bourne

My question is, what other government agent roles can Jeremy Renner possibly be cast in? James Bond is probably out of the question, considering he’s British and all. But what about an Our Man Flint reboot? Or a Salt sequel? (They could call it Mr. Salt!) Of course, he could always play John Clark to Chris Pine’s Jack Ryan in the re-reboot of the Tom Clancy films, if that thing ever gets of the ground.

I’m being sarcastic, yet I wouldn’t be surprised if, say, two of those things ended up happening.

The Bourne Legacy is expected to hit theaters August 3rd, 2012.

Source: Latino Review & Deadline