Just last week there was a total of six up-and-coming actors shortlisted as potentials to headline The Bourne Legacy for Universal Pictures. Now word has gotten out that the studio is prepped to send out an offer to star in the spinoff sequel to none other than the seemingly ubiquitous, multiple Oscar-nominee, Jeremy Renner.

To clarify that last comment: Renner is currently working on Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, will be starring alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol this winter, and is already set to become Hawkeye in next year’s The Avengers.

While Bourne 4 shares its name with Eric Van Lustbader’s 2004 novel, Bourne Legacy will be an original creation penned and directed by Bourne Ultimatum co-screenwriter Tony Gilroy. The project is described as not being a requel (a rebooting sequel, that is) but instead a story set within the Bourne-verse that involves a new government agent/assassin – and would allow for Matt Damon to return as Jason Bourne in a fifth film, if he desires.

Latino Review got the scoop on an offer being sent out to Renner, but is also reporting that Oscar Isaac was Gilroy’s top choice to headline Bourne Legacy. While I personally have a harder time seeing Isaac play an efficient killing machine than Renner – based off his performances as Prince John in Robin Hood and Blue from Sucker Punch – I might have said the same thing about Damon prior to his starring in The Bourne Identity. Plus, Gilroy is a solid filmmaker, so I’m inclined to trust his judgement.

Emily Browning opposite Isaac in 'Sucker Punch'.

Renner, however, is apparently the man Universal prefers for Bourne Legacy – and despite his involvement with multiple big franchise titles arriving over the next two years, Renner’s schedule should allow him to appear in the Bourne flick if he so chooses. Expect to hear an official announcement on that matter in the very near future.

Many a fan has been vocal about their disinterest in this fourth Bourne pic, especially since neither Damon or director Paul Greengrass is connected to it. I would agree that Bourne Ultimatum was a solid conclusion to the Bourne trilogy and nicely wrapped up any lingering plot threads from its predecessors. So it’s rather difficult (read: near impossible) for me to argue that we need another film set within the continuity of the previous Bourne movies.

That said, in defense of Bourne Legacy: Gilroy demonstrated to be more than an efficient screenwriter with his tightly constructed directorial debut, Michael Clayton, and Renner arguably proved himself to be quite the powerhouse actor in both The Hurt Locker and last year’s The Town – and was awarded with an Oscar nod on each occasion for his effort. So the potential combination of those two talents is something to pay attention to.

The Bourne Legacy is tentatively scheduled to hit theaters on August 3rd, 2012. Are you more interested in seeing it now that Renner may be starring?

Source: Latino Review