The announcement that the Bourne franchise would continue without Matt Damon was met with skepticism by many, including myself, for several reasons. The most relevant? Matt Damon played Jason Bourne. How could the franchise continue without him and his character but still call itself a Bourne film? Would another actor step into his shoes a la James Bond, or would it simply be another case of an agent with amnesia going rogue?

The answer turned out to be neither, and instead, rather ingeniously, The Bourne Legacy is a parallel story that begins during the third act chaos of The Bourne Ultimatum.

Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a top agent who finds himself caught up in the Bourne fallout when the agency attempts to cover their tracks by terminating his co-workers. He’s forced to go on the run alongside an agency scientist (Rachel Weisz) while trying to out maneuver new a executive-level baddie played by Edward Norton. Some familiar faces from the first three films crop up along the way to flesh out the connective tissues between films, but this is really an introduction to a brand new character… and possibly a brand new trilogy of films.

Check out the trailer below, and tell me your not at least a little excited to see this.

This trailer walks a delicate balance between offering up enough of the story to intrigue us while still leaving quite a bit unanswered. Cross is clearly a top agent who thankfully isn’t suffering amnesia but instead is very aware and simply trying to stay alive. Brief glimpses of Bourne’s name and image are a fantastic touch (both narratively and in the studio-feeling-the-need-to-remind-audiences kind of way), and it’s fun seeing more of Albert Finney, Joan Allen and David Strathairn too.

Tony Gilroy, who wrote the previous films, takes over directing duties from Paul Greengrass. His past directorial efforts (Michael Clayton, Duplicity) were light in the action department, but it looks like he caught on pretty damn quick. Fans of the shaky-cam may be out of luck though as Gilroy’s style appears to be forgo that in favor of keeping the camera focused on the action. Strange, but whatever floats the man’s boat. The important thing is that after a summer filled with special effects it will be refreshing to watch a big action film more concerned with the practical than the CGI.

There is one problem though. When this eventually hits Blu-ray and DVD it’s going to mess up the previous films’ alphabetical/chronological order. Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum… Legacy? So now I have to choose between either alphabetical perfection or chronological? Damn you Tony Gilroy, damn you.

The Bourne Legacy opens August 3rd.

What do you think of the trailer?


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