In the absence of Damon, Universal needs a strapping young man to put on the posters. The studio has begun the search for the actor to play a new assassin character with a “similar background” to Bourne. Gilroy has reportedly met with Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch, and Kellan Lutz about assuming the mantle. It was also updated that Joel Edgerton, Josh Hartnett, Paul Dano, Michael Pitt, Oscar Isaac, Michael Fassbender, Luke Evans, Alex Pettyfer, and Benjamin Walker have been added to the list of contenders.
Variety was unable to confirm the report with anyone from Universal, but their sources provide a few interesting details about the casting process:
- No frontrunner has emerged.
- Gilroy has an idea of the qualities he wants in his leading man, and hopes to submit all candidates to a screen test. This may cost him a bigger name that prefers the wooing process.
- Universal has their own ideas about who they want on that poster; it’s implied the studio’s vision doesn’t align perfectly with Gilroy’s.
- The studio is likely to hold off on casting supporting roles until they’ve found their lead.
Deadline suggests Gilroy is in the process of narrowing the list, and that actor availability will be a limiting factor. So expect another update on this story in the near future.]
No one is trying to replace Damon, as there’s hope he will reprise his role as Bourne for a fifth film. The Wrap even suggests “many in [Damon's] camp fully expect to happen in the next year or so,” a statement that weights about as much as a feather. The word on the street is that if Greengrass comes back, Damon will follow. I imagine that came up when Universal agreed to make Greengrass’ next project, Memphis.
The Bourne Legacy is scheduled for release on August 3, 2012.