Matt Damon Admits Jeremy Renner Casting On Bourne 4 Was 'A Surprise'

Matt Damon on the cover of the January 2012 issue of GQ Matt Damon on the cover of the January 2012 issue of GQ

Jeremy Renner is gearing up to star in “The Bourne Legacy,” the fourth installment in the super-agent franchise, playing a new character, and Matt Damon revealed he found out about the casting online.

“It was a surprise,” Matt told the January 2012 issue of GQ, where the “We Bought a Zoo” star opened up, at length, about what he suggested was drama behind the scenes of the franchise over the years.

In the cover story on the actor, Matt explained his departure from the “Bourne” series (which he hopes to return to at some point) had to do with a fast production schedule on movie No. 4.

“If you look at the first three movies, we kind of pounded that idea of identity and amnesia into the ground. We really got everything out of it that we could. So to reboot it, we need to come up with something completely new,” Matt told mag, noting that he felt they couldn’t achieve that goal in Universal Pictures’ deadline of an 11-month turn around.

The generally amiable actor went on to claim that the script he saw for “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the third film in the series, written by Tony Gilroy, who is directing the fourth, was “unreadable.”

“I don’t blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It’s just that it was unreadable,” Matt claimed to GQ. “This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It’s terrible. It’s really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left.”

Despite Matt’s allegations about the script, which was reportedly changed before the movie was made, the actor said he is hoping the fourth “Bourne” film is a success.

“[I’m] really pulling for this one, even though I don’t have anything to do with it. Selfishly, it’s bad for me if that movie doesn’t do well,” he said.

When contacted by GQ, a rep for Gilroy sent the mag to Universal Pictures, who issued a comment to the mag supporting both parties.

“We could not imagine replacing Matt as Jason Bourne, which is why we’re so excited Tony’s script creates a fantastic new character in ‘The Bourne Legacy’ and also leaves open the option for Matt to return,” a Universal rep told the mag. “Tony has done everything we’ve asked of him on each of the Bourne films, and his work has been a huge asset to the franchise.”

For more of Matt’s comments on “Bourne” and his new film, click HERE to read GQ’s cover story.

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