Moviegoers are about to find out how much Jeremy Renner they can handle (onscreen) over the next twelve months. The actor is slated to appear in multiple blockbuster projects, including this winter's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, next spring's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, followed by Marvel's The Avengers a couple months later, and then The Bourne Legacy in (late) summer 2012.
Today we have a few clips from Ghost Protocol that offer an early look at Renner's character in the film - namely, the mysterious (non-IMF?) Agent Brandt. On top of that, the actor has spilled a few details about Legacy, a spinoff of the Jason Bourne movie franchise.
Early word is that Ghost Protocol partially sets the stage for Renner's character to become the lead in future Mission: Impossible flicks, should the fourth installment prove a sufficient hit. While previous trailers for the film have focused largely on the many deadly sequences and acts performed by Tom Cruise's Agent Ethan Hunt (ex. dodging flying cars, beating thugs to a pulp, and scaling the world's tallest building), it's also been clear that Brandt will play an important part in keeping the movie's narrative mechanics working.
Case in point: a newly-released clip from Ghost Protocol (and an somewhat older clip, which we've included) are both about showing Renner's character getting adjusted to life in the Mission: Impossible universe.
Check them out below:
It seems that Brandt is gong to be somewhat of a foil for Cruise's Ethan Hunt. The former's hesitancy and legitimate fear juxtaposes nicely with Hunt's headstrong and cocky attitude - something the latter possessed even back in the first Mission: Impossible movie. Brandt, by comparison, seems to be set up as more of an everyman that viewers can empathize with (rather than admire) as a potential new franchise headliner. We'll just have to wait and see how that approach works out, though...
Ghost Protocol, as a whole, does look entertaining and should benefit from having people like Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, and Tom Wilkinson in supporting roles - along with enthused direction from Oscar-winning animation guru Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and some creatively large-scale set pieces. So long as the screenplay by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec (Alias, Life on Mars) is up to scratch, Renner's first Mission: Impossible venture should turn out well enough.
The Bourne Legacy
Bourne franchise co-scribe Tony Gilroy is handling both scripting and directing duties on The Bourne Legacy, a film that (according to early reports) is not a franchise reboot; rather, it is more an indirect sequel or spinoff that takes place within the Jason Bourne cinematic universe.
Seeing how the film will feature the return of familiar faces like Joan Allen and Albert Finney, reprising their roles from previous Bourne flicks, that begs the question: exactly how will this new movie connect with its predecessors?
Renner sat down recently with Empire and offered (somewhat) of an answer:
"My character [in 'The Bourne Legacy'] is called Aaron Cross, but he ends up having a bunch of different names. For fans of the franchise, [the film] has that same ticking clock, but it's a new programme and new characters... [Treadstone is involved], it's that same deal, it's just a new set of agents with a different leash. It's the same tempo and pace but more expansive and bigger. The differences are pretty vast but you'll know it's a Bourne movie."
A lot of Bourne series fans are (seemingly) hesitant about getting excited for Bourne Legacy just yet - not only because star Matt Damon and Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum helmer Paul Greengrass aren't involved, but also due to concerns that the new storyline and characters will feel too much like rehashes of those in the previous Bourne flicks.
On the other hand: Gilroy is not only a decent writer/director (see: Michael Clayton, Duplicity), he has also assembled a very talented acting crew to appear in The Bourne Legacy - one which includes Renner, Allen, Finney, along with Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz, multiple Oscar-nominee Edward Norton, Oscar Isaac (Drive), and Stacy Keach, among others. So there's certainly a good deal of potential here.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol begins a limited release in IMAX theaters around the U.S. on December 16th, 2011. It will commence with a regular wide theatrical release five days later on the 21st.
The Bourne Legacy is slated to hit theaters in the U.S. on August 3rd, 2012.