THE BOURNE LEGACY: New perspective on the Bourne universe
THE BOURNE LEGACY
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton
Director: Tony Gilroy
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
What's it about? An expansion of the universe from Robert Ludlum's novels, centred on a new hero whose stakes have been triggered by the events of the previous three films.
Released: August 13
W hen Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass decided to step down from the phenomenally successful Bourne series, the question on everyone's lips was: Is this the end of Hollywood's coolest spy franchise?
The espionage films began a decade ago, with Jason Bourne being pulled unconscious from the sea in The Bourne Identity.
Over the course of two more films, The Bourne Supremacy in 2004 and The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, audiences followed Bourne's journey as he discovered his own identity and the CIA mounted an increasingly desperate manhunt for their super-spy.
The trilogy earned almost one billion US dollars at the global box office, with $443 million alone hauled from the last chapter but, while there was a thirst for more, the film-makers faced a conundrum if they wanted the story to move forwards.
Bourne had gone public about the US government's intelligence programmes before disappearing off the radar at the end of the last film, so there had to be a new protagonist if the franchise was to continue.
Step forward Jeremy Renner, the 41-year-old Californian actor who plays new secret agent Aaron Cross in The Bourne Legacy.
"Aaron Cross is a guy who wants to fit in and be a part of something. He's completely the opposite of who Jason Bourne was," explains Renner, his 5ft 10in frame clad in jeans, T-shirt and leather jacket.
"Bourne was just trying to find out who the hell he was, but Aaron Cross knows exactly who he is. He knows what he wants to do and that's being a part of this team."
Meanwhile, Tony Gilroy, the Bourne franchise screenwriter, sits in the director's chair vacated by Greengrass.
In this next chapter, Gilroy has pulled back the curtain to expose a darker layer of intrigue and audiences will discover there are actually a variety of intelligence programmes, of which Bourne was only part of one.
As Renner explains: "This film just expands on the original concept.
"It's running parallel with the story of The Bourne Ultimatum, that's happening at the same time, so it really opened up the parameters and the perspective on what that universe is."
To say more than that would ruin the surprise the film-makers have worked so carefully to keep a secret.
Renner even received the script in a suitably spy-like manner. "I was shooting Hansel And Gretel in Berlin and it was very secretive," he recalls.
"They didn't trust me enough to send it over, so they literally flew somebody out.
"I got a knock on my door at midnight and this script slid in and they just said: 'Call me when you're done with it. You've got about two hours'.
"I had to consider what it would do to my personal life but creatively it had all the elements that I die to do at work."
Renner, who worked in theatre and television before making the move to film, says: "It's nice to be able to work and it's even nicer when people see your work.
"When it turns out well and does well at the box office, it's even better. It's a wonderful feeling."
But he's relieved that immense fame came knocking in his late thirties rather than his teens.
"I've been working for 20-odd years in this industry and you just have a different skill set, I suppose," says Renner. "You have a greater sense of self, so I'm glad that any recognition's happened a little bit later on in my life."
Locations: While writing the script, Tony Gilroy travelled the world looking for locations he could write into the film.
Looks: Renner wears a fake beard in the snow scenes as growing one would have put shooting out of sequence.
Lookalikes: The stunt driver used during part of the Manila motorbike chase is the same one used to drive the Bat Pod in Christopher Nolan's Batman movies.