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James Franco to lead new Bourne?

Director Tony Gilroy may have found his hero

Things seem to be heating up in relation to who’ll be fronting the new “Bourne” film.

The film, as you no doubt know, will be titled “The Bourne Legacy” (yep, like Robert Ludlum’s book) but it won’t feature the character of Jason Bourne, played by Matt Damon.  Bourne won’t be recast, he’ll still he heavily referenced in this film, he just won’t appear this time around (but may, say the producers, reappear in subsequent films).

Question is, who’s going to play Bourne’s proxy this time ’round?

Steam seems to be swirling in James Franco’s direction. Screen Rant and Showbiz411 are reporting that the “127 Hours” star’s name has emerged as the leading contender for the gig.

“Bourne Legacy” director Tony Gilroy even attended Franco’s new film “127 Hours” to check out his potential leading man, said The New York Post. After the screening, Gilroy apparently made a “beeline” for the actor.

Gilroy told Deadline a while back that he didn’t want to cast a new actor as Jason Bourne.

”I couldn’t imagine trying to replace him. All the conspiratorial politics aside, these are very un-cynical, honest movies, and I don’t know another actor who brings more integrity and dignity, and a lack of cynicism to his work than Matt.”

While he wouldn’t go into specifics, Gilroy said of the plot : “ saw the other three films, you know everything that happened, and it’s not a dream sequence. What I can say is, you thought that was the whole world, but it was a small piece of what was going on. Ultimatum exploded at the end with people arrested. We deal with that as a reality, it has ramifications that echo out into the larger world. And of course, Jason Bourne is still alive and out there in the world. I don’t want to go beyond that, because the last thing I need is for every blogger to be second guessing.”

“The Bourne Legacy” will be released 2012.

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