Tradecraft: The Bourne Contenders, Part 2
Deadline has another story about possible stars for Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy, a Matt Damon-less spinoff from the Bourne franchise—and this one has slightly more actual information in it than the last one. The trade blog reports that Dominic Cooper, Joel Edgerton, Garrett Hedlund and Luke Evans are all scheduled to read for the lead role in the first week of April. Now, that doesn't mean that any of them will end up getting the job, but they're all definitely testing for it. Interestingly, it seems that one of the primary qualifications for playing this American agent (assuming the new spy hero hails from the same Treadstone spy factory as Jason Bourne/David Webb, which drew from the ranks of the US armed forces) is not being American. Hedlund is the only candidate of the bunch born in the States. (Yet also the least exciting of the bunch, I think.) Oddly, I don't really care about that, but considering how up in arms we'd all be were so many Americans ever in contention for James Bond, it's an interesting observation. Another interesting observation is that the three candidates from the British Commonwealth are also potential successors to the Bond mantle whenever Daniel Craig decides to turn in his PPK. (For my money, Cooper's the most likely to be in the running in that sweepstakes—and he has some interesting Bond connections already, having starred opposite Bond Girl Rosamund Pike in An Education and opposite former 007 Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia!) That in itself represents a shift in direction for the Bourne series, casting-wise, since Matt Damon seemed to have been selected largely because he's such a vigorous anti-Bond type. His non-Bondness, in fact, was probably in part responsible for the franchise's remarkable success to date. It certainly tricked people into believing the filmmakers' line that the Bourne movies were something entirely fresh, and not in fact very well-made imitations of the Bond films. (For the record, I love the Bourne movies, and fully recognize that they in turn have influenced Bond and all action films in general, but that doesn't alter the fact that without James Bond there would be no Jason Bourne, literary or cinematic.) Read the full Deadline story for the names of other possible contenders not currently scheduled to test for the part.