Crunch time for Jeremy Renner
I don’t know if you noticed—I certainly did—but back in April when The Avengers press tour was going on, Jeremy Renner had the distressing habit of showing up to every major event in an incredibly shiny suit. He had a definite Shiny Suit Problem. It was tragic and horrifying and I couldn’t stop pointing it out. So of course I’m taking credit for Renner’s sartorial improvement during The Bourne Legacy press. Check him out at the New York premiere of Bourne last night—the suit isn’t shiny! He was listening to us! Probably it’s just a case of a better stylist this time around, or any stylist—the shiny mobster suits were so consistent for so long that I’m thinking that was more Renner’s own bad taste than a bad stylist— but let’s go ahead and take credit. Our mockery drove Renner to find better, less hit-man-like suits.
A month ago Universal admitted they were afraid of The Dark Knight Rises and pushed The Bourne Legacy’s opening back one week to TDKR’s fourth weekend instead of their third. Given that Batman is diminishing a little faster than initially expected (and no, I don’t think it’s really because of any fear engendered by the shooting, but because the movie isn’t that fun to watch and people are not going back for repeat viewings), Universal’s move looks particularly smart. By the 10th, TDKR should pull around $20 million for the weekend, and Bourne ought to be able to top that. Especially since NBCUniversal is pimping the hell out of the movie during the Olympics coverage. Are you Canadians seeing the constant Bourne TV spots like we are in the US? I feel like you’re getting a totally different Olympics experience than I am (read: better).
This is the crowning moment of Renner’s Big Year. Starting last December with the surprising revival of Mission: Impossible, through the gangbusters success of The Avengers, Bourne has stood as Renner’s real test, the franchise he’s expected to carry. The ramifications extend beyond this franchise—Paramount pushed Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters to January, hoping that by then, Renner’s name will mean enough to audiences to get them out to see what is bound to be an incredibly silly movie. There are a lot of people watching Renner carefully right now. Hollywood needs a new crop of leading men—Renner was The Hollywood Reporter’s subject for an article on this very topic. And with Tom Cruise suddenly vulnerable, I wonder if there’s that much more pressure to find the next action dude, a less Xenu-y one.
So far, Renner’s career management has been pretty stellar, building off The Hurt Locker with more character work and supporting roles in blockbusters. But now it’s time to test him in the center ring, as a leading man. At least we got him to leave the shiny suits at home.