Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Garrett Hedlund, Taylor Kitsch, Kellan Lutz Meet With Tony Gilroy for THE BOURNE LEGACY – Updated

     February 24, 2011


It was about a year ago that Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass moved on from the Bourne franchise, but Universal isn’t ready to part ways with the lucrative franchise.  The studio hired Tony Gilroy, a man with writing credits on the first three Bourne scripts, to write and direct a titled The Bourne Legacy.  Though the title is borrowed from one of the books in the Bourne series, The Bourne Legacy is a standalone project – wholly original story which does not feature the character Jason Bourne.

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.

[Update: 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.  Details after the break.]

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.

Because we don’t know too much about the role, I couldn’t tell you who’s the best fit.  I’ll simply confess that I’m all in on the career of Taylor Kitsch after Friday Night Lights. (Texas Forever.)  I’d love for Kitsch to be a major star, especially if this Battleship thing somehow works out.

Compared to the blue-eyed intensity of Damon, this group seems pretty layed back, no?

[Update: Deadline's report on the matter added 9 more names to the list of candidates.  Such a broad and varied collection defies classification.  Well, not too varied: 13 of the 14 actors are white.  Thank god for the Cuban/Guatemalan Isaac.  But the ages range from Pettyfer (20) to Edgerton (36).

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.

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  • Nick

    Joel Edgerton all the way, he is incredibly fucking talented and just look at the shape he’s in in Animal Kingdom. He’s EASILY the best part of that film.

    • Richard of Norway

      Yo, I agree. None of the actors headlining this article are good for the part, imo. Edgerton all the way bro.

  • Cameron

    What a depressing list of actors. It’s like there not even trying.

  • Jay

    Kitsch is the best actor which is why he shouldn’t be associated with this. Just choose Alex Pettyfer to match the horrid idea of continuing the Bourne trilogy withough Damon.

  • Davis Grant

    It’ll be hard to replace Matt but between Joell and Joel Edgerton it would seem like a good fit and maybe even Gyllenhall.

    • Dane


      • broski

        Calm down bro

  • Dane

    give it to Josh Hartnett. I would like to see him in a real action movie

  • Bruno

    I like more Garrett Hedlund for the movie.

  • tunason

    Why even put the Bourne name in the title? That is just going to put people off the movie. Just call it something else and have it set in the bourne universe….

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  • bc

    after i watched death sentence i believed that garrett hedlund is a good actor and i think he could pull this of………some of the other names were just impossible……. Kellan Lutz are you kidding me

  • bc

    after watching death sentence i believed that garrett hedlund is a good actor and i think he could pull this of…….some of the other names were just Impossible Kellan Lutz cant act, Alex Pettyfer too young, Jake Gyllenhaal not intense enough,Tobey Maguire never liked the guy always over

  • PhoenixWright

    I like Tobey Maguire a lot, but I can’t buy him as this kind of character. He’s too soft-voiced for the part, and not in a Mark Wahlberg kind of way. I hope I’m proven wrong, as he deserves another hit, but I don’t see this being it. I’d go for Gyllenhaal, I think.

  • EFGOVER2000

    Theres like 8 books in the Bourne series…..just sayin….theyve already made 3 movies off the first 3 books.

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  • chris

    i would say the best for this role is Tobey Maguire, and Garrett Hedlund i would love to see any of these two to take on the franchise.

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  • josh

    How is this called The Bourne Legacy if it doesn’t feature Bourne?

  • Ryan

    It’s called Bourne Legacy because Bourne is a cover name used by any old operative.

    I vote:
    Fassbender (After Inglorious Bastards I’m in on anything he does)
    Jake G.
    Taylor Kitsch
    Tobey M.

  • mdfaraone

    My vote is for Jake Gyllenhaal out of this bunch.

  • Jordan

    Be nice if they could get a man to play the part….

  • Pete

    Anybody but Tobey Maguire. His crying in the Spidey role still causes me to cringe.

  • Pete

    Anybody but Tobey Maguire. His crying in the Spidey role still causes me to cringe. And not Pettyfer please. Bourne isn’t described as a jock.

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  • gabi

    I want Robert Pattinson..he has the best potential…Garrett was only OK in TRON …

    • Bruno

      tron is very good not just ok, death sentençe is very good.
      Robert Patison are you joking ….

  • Pgitt

    I’m surprised this list does not have Justin Bieber on it–it has got every other dang actor on the list. I wish I could see Dano as a super-soldier, but he’s so damn stringy. What’s Haley Joel Osment up to? Is he weird looking now? I got it: Frankie Muniz–we know he’s comfortable with guns.

  • Arnold

    I hope 2 see the screen test of each of the actors….

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  • anonymous

    Joel Edgerton. After his performance in Animal Kingdom, the man has all of my confidence. He is the only MAN on this list. The rest are actory boys posing as men. Not only can he take the reigns, but he is fully capable of riding this franchise in a bold new direction.

  • anonymous

    Scratch that. Fassbender is solid. He’s a phenomenal actor and a masculine dude to boot. He’d be believable in the world of Bourne.

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