Stepping into Matt Damon's shoes is no small feat.
But Modesto native Jeremy Renner hopes to prove himself more than able to fill them as Aaron Cross, the new lead of the Bourne franchise.
Damon starred in the previous three Jason Bourne blockbusters as a covert government spy on the run from the super secret program which spawned him.
Damon stepped away when director Paul Greengrass, who directed the other films, didn't return. So Tony Gilroy, who had written all the previous Bourne screenplays, took over as director and Renner was cast as a new operative in the same program.
Renner worked on the film from last August to March. He spoke with The Bee about taking over for Damon, training for action and becoming a super spy.
Q: What made you interested in the role? Did you have any worries about taking over for Matt Damon?A: The only concern I had initially was before I had the script. Before I knew how they could make a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne. I was a fan of the franchise, so I was like, "I don't get it." But the script was so amazing. And Tony Gilroy and the cast of Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton were amazing. The role is tremendous so there was no reason to say no.
Q: Have you see the film yet?A: I've seen a version that is 95 percent done. I was really, really happy with what they did with the movie. I didn't cringe at anything I did.
It's a world that is just widened out. If you took a zoom lens and zoomed out you see there's more going on than we initially thought. There was never just one. So this is pulling away the curtains. Everything that happened in "Ultimatum" directly affects this movie. It steers the perspective.
Q: How was training for this film and the fight choreography, since the franchise is known for its up-close action sequences?A: It was more fight training than anything else. It was one of the most important things I could do, otherwise it'd do a great disservice to that franchise and this particular movie. The movie needs a level of authenticity and plausibility. You can't CGI or green screen or fake anything when physically taking someone down.
All the stunt stuff was about being physically able and athletic. So you need core strength and flexibility. Really the most dangerous thing in cinema is running. That's just because running on screen you do that all day long you can pull a muscle. You start and stop. Acid builds up. The easiest, simple thing you can do on screen can take you out.
And if you get injured, the whole movie has to take a break. So there's a responsibility to do it right.
Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2284.