During summer movie season 2015 we've already seen actor Jeremy Renner as super-spy/archer Hawkeye in Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron - and will next see him this weekend (at the time of writing this) when he reprises his role as IMF Agent Brandt alongside Tom Curise's Ethan Hunt, in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.
Of course, there is a third super spy character Renner plays: Aaron Cross, lead character of the Jason Bourne spinoff film The Bourne Legacy. While we were in NYC to talk with Renner about M:I5, we also happened to touch on the subject of where the Bourne films stand, and whether or not we'll ever get to the day where he and Matt Damon share the screen (and/or go toe-to-toe) as Aaron Cross and Jason Bourne, respectively.
The first thing I wanted to ask you about is something I’ve kind of dubbed the Jeremey Renner action curve... is there some point in the year that you’ve just got to burn off this adrenaline and kinda get it out before kinda relaxing a little bit more?
Jeremy Renner: I think it has to do with [laughs] body; to let my body take a break. Sometimes…yeah. I just think it’s the...it’s what my body can take. I don’t want to run at 100 miles an hour all year long; just like, you know, for a minute.
I know fans are going to want to know about your third super spy character from The Bourne Legacy. We know that Bourne 5 is coming with Matt Damon’s character. But fans have long talked about there being collaboration between the two of you and mixing these characters up. Is that still something that’s on your mind?
Jeremy Renner: Yeah, I mean in two seconds. I love that world. I love the character. If they want to do that, I’m in. there’s no ‘no’ coming from this direction. I don’t pull the strings on that…
Unless the body can’t handle it.
Jeremy Renner: No. The body will be able to handle that. [laughs]
Renner is being polite when saying he doesn't pull strings on what happens in the Bourne franchise, given what happened with Bourne 5. fans with long memories know that after the somewhat tepid response (at least domestically) to Bourne Legacy, Bourne 5 was still planned to proceed with Renner's Aaron Cross in the lead, under the helm of Fast and Furious franchise director, Justin Lin. That script (literally?) got flipped when the Bourne Supremacy / Bourne Ultimatum team of director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon came roaring back into the picture, locking down Bourne 5 as a Jason Bourne story only.
According to producer Frank Marshall, the Bourne universe will get a two-pronged approach, and the Bourne Legacy sequel is still in development - though no solid date of release or casting/crew have been decided on yet. Meanwhile, Bourne 5 has picked up a 2016 release date, and a cast that now includes Damon, Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones, Ex Machina's Alicia Vikander and possibly Viggo Mortensen as the villain.
While Bourne film writer Tony Gilroy wasn't as skillful in crafting the Bourne Legacy into a competent or well-staged spinoff, Renner's Aaron Cross was, generally speaking, a character who earned his way into being a major franchise player. People would like to see how the Aaron Cross wing of the Bourne saga continues to unfold - and they definitely want to see what happens when the Jason / Aaron threads (and all the accompanying supporting characters, like Stiles, Ed Norton, David Strathairn, Joan Allen or Rachel Weisz) all come crashing together.
So while a Damon-led Bourne 5 with Greengrass is good news for fans - Renner (and his body) are still waiting in the wings, a dangling thread needing to be tied off, at some point.
See Jeremy Renner in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation starting on July 31st.
Bourne 5 will be in theaters on July 29, 2016.