Remember how Matt Damon said he was done with Jason Bourne after 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum, having reached the end of a successful trilogy? He even went so far as to surrender the franchise to a new generation of Bourne-esque heroes with The Bourne Legacy. The 2012 reboot tried to replace Jason Bourne as the hero of the franchise, introducing Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross, another super soldier who was experimented on like Damon's Bourne. Now that Bourne is officially back, in a film aptly titled Jason Bourne, fans are wondering what it all means for Cross. Is Renner as Cross in Jason Bourne, and if not, why?
By all accounts, Renner is not in Jason Bourne — and it's probably for the best. Jason Bourne marks the creative reunion of star Damon and The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass, both of whom were MIA for The Bourne Legacy, and, as such, Jason Bourne also ushers in the return of the original Bourne mythology. Cross and The Bourne Legacy might have been an expansion of that same mythology, but it's tough to keep a franchise going that's based on one man's journey to remember who he is, when you don't have that man anymore. Consequently, The Bourne Legacy and the original Bourne series don't necessarily go hand in hand. In other words, Cross' journey doesn't have much bearing on Bourne's, and vice versa.
This separation between the worlds of Jason Bourne and The Bourne Legacy has been used to explain Renner's absence from the new Bourne film. "We didn't want to mess with their mythology at all because it's its own thing, and we obviously would never want to get in the way of that," Damon told the Toronto Sun in 2015. Producer Frank Marshall echoed Damon's sentiments in an interview with Collider, saying that the two super spies were "on separate tracks."
Now, that's all well and good, but what does that mean for the future of Renner's Aaron Cross? It could mean that he just doesn't appear in Jason Bourne, but it could also mean that Renner's stalled Bourne Legacy sequel is no more. Filmmakers have been vague when asked about Renner's future with the franchise, though an article in the New York Times claimed that Universal has no plans to revive Aaron Cross for his own sequel.
Renner's absence from Jason Bourne could mean the end of Aaron Cross in the franchise, but fans of The Bourne Legacy can be comforted by the fact that a little piece of Cross will live on as the inspiration for Twilight author Stephenie Meyer's new spy thriller, The Chemist .
Images: Universal Pictures; Giphy