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Trailer Breakdown: THE BOURNE LEGACY

All of the fans of the Bourne film franchise received a bit of a treat today with the release of the first trailer for the upcoming fourth installment, The Bourne Legacy. Although I'm not a huge fan of the series myself, I am somewhat looking forward to this particular film based on some of the changes that have been made. The trailer proves to be more of a teaser than a full-blown preview, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't a lot to talk about. Here's the trailer for your viewing pleasure, and I'll break it down and bring up the important topics afterward:

And now, for the questions that arose while I watched the trailer:

1. The first image we get is that of a beaten and bruised Jeremy Renner. What's the deal?
This is probably our first glimpse into the storyline of this particular film. As the images flash by,

we learn that Renner's character is a soldier in the same mold of Jason Bourne. With each passing second, we see a stronger and more healthy-looking man until we finally get a full picture of him. In a sense, the first half of this trailer is giving us what will probably be the film's opening sequences, and this bit of exposition sets the tone of the film quite nicely.

2. Wait a second. Where's Matt Damon?
When this film was first announced, Damon was set and scheduled to return as his ever-famous Jason Bourne, and director Paul Greengrass was set to return as well. In 2009, however, Greengrass expressed disinterest in directing another Bourne film, and Damon soon stated that he would not appear in the film without Greengrass at the helm. Because Universal Pictures still wanted to release the film, a few changes had to be made. The biggest change is that of our lead

star, which will be Jeremy Renner for at least this film, if not more in the franchise as well. I personally think that this is a step in the right direction for the franchise. While I don't hate Damon as an actor, I personally couldn't find him all that believable in his role as Jason Bourne. Renner has already made a name for himself in a few action-oriented flicks (most recently in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol), so giving him the star treatment here should work out well.

3. If Paul Greengrass isn't directing, who is?
Tony Gilroy has been attached to this film since 2010, so he shall serve as director for this film. It's not all that shocking if you don't recognize his name immediately, seeing as this is only his third directorial effort, and his first since 2009's Duplicity. While I did not see that film and therefore cannot comment on it, I did see his debut effort - 2007's Michael Clayton - for which Gilroy earned both Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Also, Gilroy has written or co-written the previous three Bourne films and has done so with this installment as well, so we can rest assured that he knows and understands the franchise. Still, we may have to wait and see whether he truly has directing chops or if he was simply a one-hit wonder.

4. We know about Jeremy Renner, but who else will star in this film?
We get a few glimpses at some of the supporting talent that will be joining Renner in this Bourne installment. We have three major actors - Joan Allen, David Strathairn and Scott Glenn - from past films in the trilogy who will be reprising their roles. Also immediately noticeable in the trailer is Edward Norton, who should bring his typical brilliance to the screen. Also be on the watch for the likes of Rachel Weisz, Oscar Isaac, Corey Stoll and Stacy Keach.

5. Where does this film fit chronologically with the rest of the franchise?
They're calling it a "sidequel," or a full spin-off with a new character who will have to handle the ramifications and consequences created by the Bourne character in the first three films. In a sense, it sounds like it will portray a story that runs parallel with parts of the previous trilogy, which should offer some interesting twists and turns if they manage to interplay the two storylines. That might not be on their to-do list without Matt Damon, but we'll see how it all plays out.

Ultimately, it looks as though The Bourne Legacy should be bringing an action-packed

experience to the movie theaters once it's released. There are quite a few changes from the previous trilogy's storyline, but with a new face in the lead and a spirited and knowledgeable director, here's to hoping that we'll be in for quite a treat.

The Bourne Legacy is slated for release in the United States and Canada on August 3, 2012. It will hit the United Kingdom two weeks later on August 17.