Twelve for 2012 Part Ten: The Bourne Legacy

After The Hunger Games, Avengers Assemble, Men in Black 3, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-Man, Ice Age: Continental Drift, The Dark Knight Rises and Brave, we’re onto the last three parts of the feature, and it’s time for part ten of Twelve for 2012. Beginning April with a blast (and gunshots, and running, and helicopters), it’s the one with the new guy, the old guys, and another new guy. Part ten, The Bourne Legacy!


It’s the Bourne series, returning after five years! No matter who’s playing the main character, the word ‘Bourne’ in the title and the same crew that worked on the original trilogy guarantee innovative, exciting action, smart dialogue and well-rounded characters. And the teaser trailer only seems to confirm this, featuring action in a snowy forest, among other places. Even though Matt Damon has gone, the trademark action of the Bourne franchise will live on. Beat that, Ethan Hunt and James Bond! (I should mention that I’m a huge Bourne fan.)

Tony Gilroy, who penned Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum (which are the three Bourne films featuring Matt Damon, if you’re not familiar with the series. And if you’re not familiar with Bourne, then go watch all three, and then write ‘I should have watched the original trilogy before reading this feature’ fifty times.), is on writing and director duties for Legacy. So, expect the same sort of witty, action-packed script that you saw in the first three movies. And probably a rooftop chase. And a fight in a confined space. And scenes in the CIA offices with Joan Allen and Albert Finney. And the Hulk. (Well, the guy who played him last.)

They’ve snapped up Jeremy Renner to play the lead character. Renner, who almost needs no introduction by now, was last seen in Thor (as Hawkeye) and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol , and will next be seen as Hawkeye again in Marvel Avengers Assemble, which opens later this month. And if you’ve seen Ghost Protocol, you’ll know that he’s a pretty damn good actor. Hell, even his cameo in Thor was cool. So if you’re skeptical, remember he’s the one with the bow and arrow that you saw in the trailers for Avengers. Actually, hang on a second… he doesn’t talk in the Avengers trailers. Scratch that. Think of Ghost Protocol instead.

Universal are marketing this film just right, emphasizing that Legacy takes place in the same world as the Matt Damon trilogy, and that it is, despite no Matt Damon and no Paul Greengrass (director of the Damon trilogy), the new Bourne movie. And that means that people, previously unaware of the movie, will go and watch it. And by now, you probably know the result of that. Yup, it means more MONEY.


Well, a Bourne movie without Bourne is a hard movie to market. Even with Renner headlining, the movie might struggle to gain as much box office as the Damon trilogy. The lack of Paul Greengrass and his trademark hand-cam won’t help Legacy either. Marketing a Bourne movie without Bourne is like marketing a James Bond movie without a ‘007’ logo above it. Basically, Universal will have their work cut out convincing people to go and actually watch Legacy.

Will Bourne be the same without Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass? I mean, the same screenwriter’s still on board, but I’m a bit worried that the feel of the first three Bourne movies will be lost, and that at least one new cast member will be a flop that completely ruins the movie for me. I’m not sure about Edward Norton, who gave a bog-average performance in The Incredible Hulk, playing the villain. Let’s hope Norton proves me wrong, and pulls out a great performance. I have faith in Jeremy Renner, though, so I’m pretty confident that Renner will drive this movie like Matt Damon did.

How much money will it make? Well,  the Bourne franchise has never been a mega-franchise like rivals Mission: Impossible and James Bond, so I don’t think that Legacy will make too much money. About $325 million, is my guess, although it could be anything from $200-$500 million.

Will it be good? With Tony Gilroy behind the camera and co-writing the script and he of Avengers and Mission: Impossible in the main role, it should be just as good as any of the original trilogy featuring Damon. So, yes.

Next time: I fall back to Earth with Skyfall in the penultimate part of Twelve for 2012.