Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner, who next appears as Hawkeye in Marvel's Thor, has been offered the lead in the Tony Gilroy-directed The Bourne Legacy, Deadline reports.
The spinoff, designed to keep Universal's lucrative franchise alive until Matt Damon might return, won't focus on Jason Bourne but rather an assassin from another covert government program even more dangerous than Treadstone.
Gilroy, who wrote the previous Bourne films — The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, which grossed nearly $1 billion combined worldwide — and wrote and directed Michael Clayton, cast a wide net for a lead, reportedly meeting with everyone from Alex Pettyfer and Garrett Hedlund to Kellan Lutz and Michael Fassbender.
Risky Business points out that Renner, who was nominated for two Oscars for his breakout role in The Hurt Locker and in The Town, "is the guy everybody wants right now" -- which poses a bit of a scheduling problem. He went from filming Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol to, just last month, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. From there he jumps to the Joss Whedon-directed Avengers, which will shoot into August and September.
There are, of course, more projects after that, all amounting to a pile-up for The Bourne Legacy, which has an Aug. 3, 2012, release date.