The Bourne Legacy

Nothing says “summer at the movies” quite like a metric ton of big name blockbusters flooding theaters near you – superheroes on top of superheroes, classic television series brought back from the dead, animated gems about finding yourself – oh my! But with the cinema summer growing ever-larger, the stakes being pushed ever-higher, and enough content to keep audience members in their seats ever-longer, a line has to be drawn somewhere. Which is why all the members of the Voting Body of Film School Rejects gathered together in our secret chambers to vote on just which films have won our Most Anticipated nod. Twenty films emerged from our complicated, decades-old voting process (read: a Google doc) to be crowned winners. Why twenty? Well, there are twenty weeks in the cinematic summer season (if you count May, which we do – April will be included next year if Hollywood keeps this up), and that should give you movie-lovers a reasonable goal to meet for the viewing season. We’ve even managed to pinpoint our most anticipated movie-going weekend of the summer – June 22nd, when four films open in theaters, all of which made our list. But beyond the mathematics that went into picking the summer’s best weekend, there were also some genuine surprises on the list – including big tentpole films missing completely (sorry, Battleship and Dark Shadows), some indies that sneaked in with lots of votes, a battle royale that went down between our number one and number two picks, […]

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Nerdist Late Night

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie and entertainment news column that brings you all the stuff you should be reading that hasn’t already been published on Film School Rejects. We admit that we’re honored to be an inspiration to every person, writer and sentient being mentioned in the links below, and would like to pay them back with a link. Also, it’s a column whose author is going on vacation for a week starting tomorrow, so you’ll be seeing some fresh faces pinch-hitting over the next week. It’s likely that they will do a much better job, but lets not tell them that. We’re already having problems with their egos, as it is. We begin this evening with an image Tweeted by Chris Hardwick, king of the Nerdist empire. It’s a preview from his appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, in which he will assuredly be pimping his new book, hitting on Zooey Deschanel (because who wouldn’t) and talking about nerdy things with another nerdy famous person. If Questlove plays the drums with lightsabers, I’m in.

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“There was never just one.” Well, that’s a nifty way to explain why Matt Damon isn’t in the latest installment of the Jason Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy. Damon’s out, and Jeremy Renner is in as another victim and/or participant in shady Project Treadstone. This first stylized trailer (complete with Inception-esque “brannngsss” and “brrahhhhmmms”) introduces us to Renner’s character – a bruiser from Reno who is on the run after showing some impressive stuff to all those government heavies who’ve gone through this already with Jason Bourne. Don’t you think Joan Allen‘s Pam Landy is just exhausted by now? Join the program and check out the trailer for The Bourne Legacy after the break.

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It’s already the second day of 2012, which means we’ll all be sober within the next day or two. It also means that we can officially start looking (through blurry eyes) ahead to the future. A future of promise and potential. A future of hope. A future of tingling anticipation that the road stretched out in front of us that leads to the cinema will be paved with gold. Will there be piles of excrement along the way? Of course, but we don’t know how many or how badly they’ll tarnish our yellow-bricked roller coaster ride. All we can see from this far out is the shimmering wonder of movies to come – the vast unknown that looks wonderful (and might just live up to the hype). In past years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), we’ve gone with a fairly arbitrary count of 20-30 movies. This year, we decided to prove that there were 52 movies worth prematurely celebrating (even though what we found were many more). That’s one for every week (even if there are some weeks with a few and some weeks with none at all). Regardless of the number, Rob Hunter, Neil Miller, Kate Erbland, Allison Loring, Landon Palmer, Brian Salisbury and Cole Abaius have joined forces to remind us all that there are a lot of great movies to hope for this year. Go grab a calendar and pencil in everything that gets your blood pressure up toward unsafe levels. It’s going to be a busy, flick-filled […]

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It was kind of a head-scratcher when it was first announced that Universal would be making another Jason Bourne movie that didn’t have Matt Damon in it. How do you make a movie about Jason Bourne without Jason Bourne? The plan seems to be to keep the action happening in the same universe that it previously in Damon’s three movies, but to introduce another operative as our protagonist. That’s a dumb idea. Why not just make a different movie called something else? Stupid ideas aside, The Bourne Legacy managed to get a great actor in Jeremy Renner to play the new operative, so maybe it won’t be all that bad. It still leaves a lot of question up in the air, though. Who is Renner’s new character going to be? Is this movie going to look like the original Bourne movies, all gritty and handheld? Well, when recently talking with Empire, Renner managed to cough up some details about the new movie, and while revealing, it all sounds like pretty typical sequel speak. When asked about the tone of the new film, he confirmed that, “Yeah, 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.” I think there’s some sort of clause that gets put in your contract when you sign on for a sequel that you have to talk about […]

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While doing some publicity for his current release Contagion, actor Matt Damon sat down to have a few words with The Shortlist, and they managed to get a couple quotes out of him that could spell good news for fans of Damon’s previous work. The next movie in the Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy, will be the first one made without Damon or his lead character Jason Bourne, instead Jeremy Renner will star as a completely new character existing in the same universe. When asked if this means he’s done playing Jason Bourne forever, Damon responded, “I was always fine with them doing another Bourne movie as long as it didn’t preclude me and Paul [Greengrass] from doing another Bourne. From what I understand, it doesn’t at all, so that’s fine. I really want to do another one with Paul and I’m sure it’ll happen someday, but for now they’re doing this.” That’s kind of surprising to me, as I thought them moving the franchise on to Jeremy Renner specifically meant that Damon was done with the property. Maybe next we can get a big Renner vs. Damon movie where Matt returns to the character. I could see that making a ton of money. That wasn’t the only moment in the interview where Damon waxed nostalgic, however. Back when he was just 28-years-old, Damon co-wrote the script for Good Will Hunting with his unofficial life partner Ben Affleck. The script won them the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, yet […]

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Seeing as it wasn’t able to bring back series star Matt Damon, the fourth film in the Bourne series is going to have to work hard to get people to accept its existence and not picket theaters. I mean, people can get pretty emotional about their Matt Damon. When it was announced that he wouldn’t be returning, the prevailing sentiment was that a fourth movie wouldn’t make sense, and that making one would be a cynical way to grub money from an unsuspecting public by exploiting the series’ name. But the producers have done everything they can to make The Bourne Legacy look like it fits in with its older brothers. First, they signed Tony Gilroy to write and direct. Seeing as he wrote the first three Bourne films as well, that should lend a nice bit of continuity to a fourth. Then they went and signed Jeremy Renner to star as the new lead character, who will decidedly not be Jason Bourne. That’s gotta take a lot of the sting out of the Damon departure. Renner is a fast rising star and pretty much the new Matt Damon anyways. Now a third step has been taken to legitimize the project, Variety is reporting that Gilroy is bringing some of the characters from the first films back, firmly setting this story in that same world.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the day’s best movie news and links exploding onto your computer screen. Can you handle that? MSN has debuted a new image of two new characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. “Two of the youngest Dwarves, Fili (Dean O’Gorman) and Kili (Aidan Turner) have been born into the royal line of Durin and raised under the stern guardianship of their uncle, Thorin Oakensheild. Neither has ever travelled far, nor ever seen the fabled Dwarf City of Erebor. For both, the journey to the Lonely Mountain represents adventure and excitement. Skilled fighters, both brothers set off on their adventure armed with the invincible courage of youth, neither being able to imagine the fate which lies before them.” Quick, get me a Tolkein nerd to translate that. Are these guys cool, or not? Because they look cool.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that wishes it could recreate the world using Legos. It would begin with the cast of Community and Rachel Weisz. It would then have them play one of the most epic games of paintball ever! Sal Mineo can come, too. Rachel Weisz may be doing more than taking a trip to Oz with James Franco and Sam Raimi. Word on the street is that she may also land a leading role alongside Jeremy Renner in The Bourne Legacy. In other news, I enjoy leading off my nightly columns with pictures of Rachel Weisz.

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Well, Jeremy Renner is almost Jason Bourne in that he’s been offered the role as Matt Damon’s replacement. He’s also almost Jason Bourne because he’ll be playing a new character in the same Bourne-verse. Of course, Jason Bourne isn’t even Jason Bourne so it all evens out. According to Deadline Barrelsvile, the two-time Academy Award nominee who defused bombs in The Hurt Locker has been offered the starring role of a Bourne spin-off directed by Tony Gilroy. Now, it’s a matter of him accepting it or turning it down. This, of course, couldn’t make more sense if it had a gun to our foreheads. Renner is set up as an action star that brings acting talent and an intensity cocaine addicts only wish they had to the table. But there’s still a chance he might pass on the role. Why? For one, a packed work schedule. Both The Bourne Legacy and Avengers are slated for 2012, so they’ll have to make it work. Renner also has Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol coming out later this year as well as Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters filming right now for a 2012 release. For two, it’s a question as to whether Renner would be able to/want to take over as the point man for both the Mission: Impossible and Bourne franchises. That’s a lot of spy work for one man. His star is rising, of course, and while he’d be brilliant in this, the choice also almost seems myopic – as if there […]

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Tony Gilroy, who has previously directed Michael Clayton and Duplicity, is hoping to keep movie theaters freshly stocked with new Jason Bourne movies. Currently there are nine Bourne novels in existence, with a tenth on the way in 2012, so there is no shortage of material for the director to adapt to the big screen. Already he has written a script for The Bourne Legacy, and he intends to direct the film himself, so it seems like all systems should be go. The only problem is that Matt Damon is done with the series, so he’s going to have to find himself another actor to play the title character. In a way, a changeover of actors is fitting for The Bourne Legacy. The first three novels in the Bourne series, which have all been adapted into films starring Damon, were written by Robert Ludlum. Starting with “Legacy” all of the rest of the sequels have been written by Eric Van Lustbader. If there was ever a time to change up some things about the film versions of Bourne’s adventures, then this is probably it, even though Gilroy has said that Legacy will have little to do with the established novel other than a shared title. The Latino Review reports that Gilroy and company have decided that Jeremy Renner is the guy they’re looking for to fill Damon’s shoes, and an offer to star has been sent his way. Originally Gilroy wanted Sucker Punch actor Oscar Issac for the role, but […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s holding out for a hero ’til the morning light. He’s gotta be sure, it’s gotta be soon, and he’s gotta be larger than life. We lead tonight with images from this evening’s episode of Community, which took a jaunt into Pulp Fiction territory and played around with some Tarantino aesthetic. I haven’t watched it yet, as I’m contractually obligated to watch it with my lady and I won’t see her until tomorrow night, but I’m told that it was a new high mark for the show.

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This news was probably inevitable, but like the romantic that I am I unfortunately held out hope just long enough for the truth to sting. The fourth film in the Jason Bourne series will be without its title character. Per Hollywood Elsewhere, writer/director Tony Gilroy is guiding The Bourne Legacy along a storyline that does not feature Jason Bourne and therefore does not need Matt Damon. This point is important because Damon had previously sworn off any interest in a fourth film if Paul Greengrass wasn’t sitting in the director’s chair. Greengrass directed parts two and three but supposedly came into conflict with Universal during the production of Green Zone and decided to call it quits in regard to the Bourne series. Gilroy, of course, has been associated with all three films in the role of co-writer, and it was recently announced that he’d be taking the reigns on part four. Gilroy says “This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one’s replacing Matt Damon. There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter…this is a stand-alone project.” To which I reply, why the hell does it need to be part of the Bourne series?

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Probably not, seems to be the consensus around bloggywood today. Over at /Film, Russ Fischer outlines the tenuous relationship that has developed between Bourne franchise forefathers Tony Gilroy and Paul Greengrass. In short, Gilroy didn’t like what Greengrass did with his script on The Bourne Ultimatum to the extent that it doesn’t sound like a fourth movie would include them both. And now that news is breaking that Universal is leaning toward Gilroy (who recently delivered Michael Clayton and Duplicity to much success), it’s safe to assume that Paul Greengrass is out for round four. Which means that star Matt Damon would be out, as he’s expressed interest in working on the project only if Greengrass comes back. So there’s where the whole thing stands, caught in quite a kerfuffle. Will Damon return? Will Gilroy restart the series with another actor? If so, then with who? The new title is The Bourne Legacy, so it could very well make sense for a little reboot. All of these questions remain. Either way, as long as Gilroy holds the camera still from time to time, I’ll watch whatever he puts together. [Deadline]

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