It’s Edward Norton vs. Jeremy Renner in ‘The Bourne Legacy!’

The Fight Club star takes his first mainstream role in years with the fourth Bourne movie.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Edward Norton has just taken the villain role in… Wait, didn't he used to be just "Ed" Norton? Are we nuts? When did that…? Anyway, Edward Norton (sigh…) has just taken the villain role in Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy. He'll join the already cast Jeremy Renner (in the lead role, but not as Jason Bourne) and Academy Award-winner Rachel Weisz. Variety had the story.

The news comes as a bit of a surprise since Norton generally eschews mainstream parts in favor of independent fare like Leaves of Grass or The Painted Veil or The Illusionist. Norton had a surprising cameo in The Invention of Lying but other than that hasn't taken part in a "Hollywood" film since 2008's The Incredible Hulk. Norton was not asked to reprise the role of Bruce Banner in Joss Whedon's upcoming Avengers movie, although reports vary on how interested he was in the first place.

Maybe it's his well-publicized contract dispute with Paramount over his part in The Italian Job, a successful film that he only grudgingly appeared in out of legal obligations, but it always feels suspicious when Norton takes a mainstream role. Despite making an early splash after his acting debut in 1996's Primal Fear (which earned Norton his first Oscar nomination as well), followed by high-profile gigs in The People vs. Larry Flynt, Fight Club and American History X, Norton has since dedicated himself to independent work, only occasionally appearing in mainstream entertainments. As such, although we're happy to see him in any film (the guy's still very talented), we can't help but wonder if he's really interested in the role or if he's simply trying to boost his visibility in order to remain commercially viable enough to keep making art house films.

Whatever. With a great cast like this, it seems highly likely that The Bourne Legacy is going to rock pretty damned hard.

CRAVE Online will be back with more Bourne Legacy news if we can remember it.