BOURNE LEGACY Trailer Debuts

The Bourne series is back, with a new director (Tony Gilroy, who wrote the screenplays for the first three movies) and a new star (Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker). The first trailer appeared yesterday and fans of the originals, starring Matt Damon and directed by Paul Greengrass, have their knives drawn.

The original movies were loosely based on the trilogy by Robert Ludlum (in fact, Deadline reports that Gilroy famously didn’t even read the first Ludlum book. He just used the book’s basic concept). After Ludlum’s death, Eric Van Lustbader continued the series, with the blessing of Ludlum’s estate. The first was appropriately named The Bourne Legacy. Lustbader has now written six Bourne novels, with a seventh, The Bourne Imperative, (Hachette/Grand Central), coming in July.

Is this movie based on the book? Following in the footsteps of the previous “adaptations,”  it only takes its title from the novel, as Lustbader says in his blog. Officially described as, “A story centered on a new CIA operative in the universe based on Robert Ludlum’s novels,” the movie introduces a new character. Instead of the amnesiac David Webb, who takes on the identity of a ruthless CIA assassin, “Jason Bourne,” a new character joins the Treadstone program as “Kenneth Kitson.” As the trailer puts it, “there was never just one.” Cleverly, this leaves open the possibility of Damon returning to future movies in the series.

Even though it bears little resemblance to the movie, the book will be released as a movie tie-in by St. Martin’s on June 2. The movie arrives August 3.

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