Jeremy Renner offered next 'Bourne' film

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As Matt Damon bowed out of the fourth installment of the Bourne franchise, Oscar winner Jeremy Renner ( The Hurt Locker) was offered the lead role.

In the next film of the series, titled The Bourne Legacy, Renner will not replace Damon as the character Jason Bourne, reported TheWrap.

Damon, who starred in The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, based on the late Robert Ludlum's best-selling novels, could return in the future.

Renner's character is a government operative from an agency that pursued Bourne who has retired though is still part of the story. The writer/director for the franchise, Tony Gilroy, adapted the screenplay from the novel by author Eric Van Lustbader, based on the Ludlum mythos.

Gilroy also wrote thrillers Michael Clayton starring George Clooney and Duplicity with Clive Owen and Julia Roberts.

Renner won the role over speculation that actors from Jake Gyllenhaal to Toby Maguire were being considered.

Last seen in Ben Affleck's The Town, Renner will next be seen in Thor as Hawkeye, who will also appear in Marvel's superhero cavalcade The Avengers, to be released in 2012.

Also, he will costar in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol with Tom Cruise, due in theaters this December, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters with Gemma Arterton ( Clash of the Titans), and Better Living Through Chemistry with Michelle Monaghan ( Source Code) and Jennifer Garner ( Valentine's Day).

The Bourne Legacy begins production this fall and is set for release in August 2012.