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Jeremy Renner Locked as New Lead in 'Bourne Legacy'

April 22, 2011 (4:54 am) GMT
Replacing Matt Damon's Jason Bourne in the spin-off film, Renner is set to portray a new character who comes from an even more dangerous place.

After months of speculation, it was finally confirmed that is to replace the role made famous by . The Oscar nominee has been handed a new lead role in Tony Gilroy's "" after searches for other actors failed to satisfy the filmmakers.

Renner's name had been bobbing up and down earlier this month but scheduling conflict prevented the actor from striking a deal. Since his acclaimed performance in "", jobs have been lining up in front of him including "" which will be released in December, "" which he is now filming, and "" which is to start shooting soon.

In addition, Renner has circled around Sheldon Turner's "" but it looks like he would slip in "Bourne" first before shooting this thriller. Production of "Bourne" is due to start in September.

In the potential new franchise, Renner reportedly portrays an operative from a covert government program that is even more dangerous than the Treadstone brainwashing program that hatched Jason Bourne. However, Damon's character is not out of the picture completely, as explained by Gilroy.

"The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal," Gilroy said. "Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he's very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for what happens. I'm building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy. ... The world we're making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne's return [down the road]."

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