New Bourne Legacy Trailer: It's Renner Time

The Bourne Legacy trailer

The first trailer for the Tony Gilroy-helmed spy sequel The Bourne Legacy has arrived, and it's got everything you want: Bone-crunching action, fire extinguisher guns, Rachel Weisz as a hot lady doctor, and Jeremy Renner banging around doing his sensitive-strong mooney-eyed thing (and leaping out of rivers half-naked) as secret agent Aaron Cross. Okay, those are all the things I want from The Bourne Legacy, but the trailer gives us one more essential bit: Explanation as to how and why Renner's been retconned into Bourne lore at all.

Renner's turn at the Bourne wheel isn't a conventional sequel or reboot but a universe-expanding parallel storyline that seems to take place simultaneous to the events of the previous Bournes, with Matt Damon's face popping up here and there — via photograph, a la Natalie Portman in The Avengers, or Robin Harris in House Party 2 — as the fugitive spy who upturned the Treadstone apple cart and set the spy world a'scramblin way back in 2002's The Bourne Identity.

So Renner's Aaron Cross — and the comely agency doctor (Weisz) who patches him up between missions, then goes on the run with him — are freed from the singular mission that Jason Bourne was on. They can flee for their own lives, together. He can use his medically-enhanced super soldier skills to leap from buildings into tight alleyways when she calls his name. So romantic!

And, also importantly, Renner's Cross already seems like a much different man-spy than Bourne was. Damon played the tortured amnesiac thing well, but Cross doesn't seem to be flailing about in some existential crisis; he knows what he is. That confident self-possession is magnetic. HE JUST WANTS TO LIVE, DAMMIT!

At least, that's what I got from these two minutes and change of trailer footage. And let's not forget what else the trailer promises: Oscar Isaac. Ed Norton. No more shaky-cam!

Verdict: In, obviously.

From Universal:

The narrative architect behind the Bourne film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: The Bourne Legacy. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films.

For The Bourne Legacy, Renner joins fellow series newcomers Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach and Oscar Isaac, while franchise veterans Albert Finney, Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn reprise their roles.

The Bourne Legacy is in theaters August 3.