While he was in L.A. to do press for the release of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (in theaters December 16th in IMAX and December 21st on all other screens), Collider got the opportunity to participate in a roundtable with actor Jeremy Renner. Even though we’re holding that portion of the interview until the week of the film’s release, we did want to share what he had to say about his other upcoming franchise films, The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy, which he’s filming until the end of February 2012.
In talking about The Bourne Legacy, Renner said that he is not taking over for Matt Damon, who will always be Jason Bourne, but that the film is written by the same writer, who is also directing this installment of the franchise. When it comes to The Avengers, Renner said that it was such an amazing challenge, with all of the characters, and that he has no idea what the film will look like because there was so much going on. He’d also love to do a Hawkeye movie, if the opportunity were to arise, but that he has no idea what the future will hold. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
Question: How do you deal with expectations, when you have a comic book character that everyone knows, or a series that people know but with a new character that they invented for it?
JEREMY RENNER: I don’t do well with expectation, in my life. I certainly can’t think about it in other people’s lives. All I can do is do the best that I can do. I’m consciously aware, specifically with the comic book world, where there’s a built-in fanbase. But, there’s a little bit of leniency because there are a couple different universes. There are the Ultimates, and then there’s the old-school version. I wasn’t interested in wearing purple tights when I’m 50, so I loved that they went the Ultimates route. I also wanted to serve the story and the script, at hand, that Joss Whedon wrote, and not bring a bunch of baggage of where he came from. What mattered to me was page one to whatever the heck it ended up being, and serving that story.
Are you currently shooting The Bourne Legacy right now?
RENNER: I’m currently shooting The Bourne Legacy, yes.
What can you say about the film? Is there anything you can share about the project?
RENNER: I’d have to kill you. We’re in the middle of shooting it, so I can’t say a whole lot about it. But, what I can clarify – that there’s been some confusion about, in regard to taking over for Matt [Damon] – is that there’s no taking over for Matt. Matt Damon will always be Jason Bourne, to that franchise. But, the writer is consistent through them all. It’s the same writer (Tony Gilroy), and he’s also our director on this one. For the fanbase that likes that type of movie, with the continuity of that, the pace of it, the way it’s shot and everything about it, you’ll know it’s a Bourne movie. There’s just going to be different faces. It’s going to be Ed Norton and Rachel Weisz, who are two of the most talented actors out there. But, it will just be a different program and different spies, essentially. It has the same sort of pace to it.
Have you spoken to Matt Damon?
RENNER: Oh, yeah.
What did advice did he give you?
RENNER: I don’t know. He’s such a cool, grounded guy. How do you give advice to somebody on something? If anything, he said, “Just listen to the guys that know what they’re doing.” He’s worked with Dan Bradley, who did all the action on all the Bourne movies. He’s actually our second unit director on Mission. I was happy to know that he was a part of this Bourne movie. He’s the guy that, if you’re doing action, you’re working with Dan Bradley. He said, “Just trust that guy.” I was like, “Perfect! You don’t have to tell me. I’ve already worked with him. He’s awesome.” He said, “Because he’s gonna ask you to do some really terrifying things. Just trust that it’s all right.”
Where are you shooting?
RENNER: We were in New York. We just finished there. And then, we go to Calgary. And then, we go to the Phillippines.
How long will you be shooting?
RENNER: Until the end of February.
Was it fun to get to set up the Hawkeye character in Thor, before establishing the character in The Avengers?
RENNER: It’s actually difficult because there’s not a lot to do. In Thor, I had to just stand in a bucket and hold my bow and arrow. What’s the character? I have no idea. I was thrown into that very quickly, so it was like, “Am I trapping myself?” It’s a little strange. I don’t know if it’s a good thing. I don’t think I’d go about it, normally, that way. It’s certainly a different way to go about taking on a role.
Did it end up trapping you at all?
RENNER: No, it was so small and minuscule. It was just saying a few lines. I felt like it would be tough to screw up.
Would you like to do a Hawkeye movie, to explore the character even deeper?
RENNER: I don’t know. There are a lot of variables in that one. Would they want to make one? What would it be about? There are a lot of things. I suppose, if they all align, then it could be interesting ‘cause I certainly like the character. But, I don’t know what the future holds.
Do you get the feel of an ensemble movie from The Avengers?
RENNER: Oh, yeah. It’s huge. Look at how many characters are in that thing. It was the ultimate challenge for Joss Whedon, who knows that universe so well. There was no one better to write it. He was so challenged, to write and direct that thing. I don’t know how you put that many characters in a movie like that. It’s immense. But, with that, you pass the baton. You get to work with very few of them ‘cause everybody’s got their own thing going on. Someone’s in the air, flying around. I’m on the ground, shooting a bow and arrow. There are a lot of things happening. I have no idea what that movie looks like. Zero idea. Most of the time, I have a good idea of how it’s going to turn out because I’ve seen so much of it, but I have no idea. I feel like I might be an extra in it. I’m not sure.
What’s it like, being one of The Avengers?
RENNER: It’s great. It’s an amazing cast, and I wish I got to do more with them. But, I had fun with the people I did get to work with.