There’s been some confusion surrounding The Bourne Legacy, which is neither a direct continuation of the storyline from previous Bourne movies, nor a reboot of the franchise. Instead, it’s a semi-spinoff that revolves around a different “programmed” Treadstone assassin – as played by Hawkeye from The Avengers (a.k.a. Oscar-nominee Jeremy Renner).

Bourne film series screenwriter Tony Gilroy is juggling both writing and directing duties on Bourne Legacy. His involvement with the new chapter in this popular action-thriller franchise – combined with the film’s respectable cast (more on that in a moment) – was enough to land this not-a-reboot installment a spot on our Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 list.

Renner stars in Bourne Legacy as “Aaron Cross,” a new highly-lethal government spook “whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films.” In other words, history ends up repeating itself in the aftermath of The Bourne Ultimatum, once Cross goes rogue – forcing government agents like Pam Landy (Joan Allen) and Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) to track him down, by whatever means necessary.

In addition to returning Bourne universe players like Allen, Strathairn, and Albert Finney, the Bourne Legacy cast also includes decorated stars such as Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz (not to be confused with Gina Carano), along with Oscar Isaac (Drive) and Stacy Keach (Prison Break) in supporting roles. As you will see in the Bourne Legacy teaser, though, this is first and foremost Renner‘s chance to show off more of his action star chops.

Check out the official teaser trailer (followed by the poster) for The Bourne Legacy, below:


Based on this early footage, Gilroy has traded in the frantic shaky cam and kinetic editing that director Paul Greengrass favored in Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum, in favor of the steadier, but still exhilarating approach of Doug Liman in Bourne Identity. For those who were never big fans of Greengrass‘ style, the news that they’ll actually be able to see what Renner is doing during Bourne Legacy‘s action sequences should be most welcome.

If there’s one potential note of concern to take away from this otherwise promising teaser, it’s that Bourne Legacy could suffer a bit from retconning. That is, Cross is being setup as a much more “stable” and effective killer than even Jason Bourne… and yet, throughout the previous films, there was always the implication that Bourne was far and away the deadliest operative produced by Treadstone. Not that this will detract from Bourne Legacy‘s quality as a standalone story, but still…

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

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers