Despite eight years (and the tenure of one broken-hearted Jeremy Renner) having passed since the last time they picked up the franchise, it looks like Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are already getting back into the Bourne series’ tried-and-tested formula. Having already cast Tommy Lee Jones as the (likely) CIA heavy giving the order to kick the one-man hornet’s nest known as Jason Bourne, they’ve now cast the steely-eyed assassin who he’ll end up killing with a murderous show of professional respect. French actor Vincent Cassel has signed on for the movie, with Variety reporting that he’ll be taking on a role analogous to those played by the likes of Karl Urban and Clive Owen in previous films, professional killers whose vaunted lethality can never win out in the face of a pissed-off Jason Bourne.
Cassel first came to international attention with 1995’s La Haine, in which he played rage-filled wannabe gangaster Vinz. Since then, he’s had roles in the Ocean’s franchise, and co-starred in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. (He also appeared in the first Shrek movie as singing chauvinist Robin Hood, which probably explains that film’s wide acceptance by fans of French independent cinema.) He’ll be joined for the new Bourne film by returning cast member Julia Stiles, as well as Jones, Damon, and the franchise’s ever-present villain, the fan-favorite post-9/11 military-espionage complex.