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Dreamcasting the Next Jason Bourne

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 1, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 1, 2010 |

As we reported earlier today, over the weekend Matt Damon intimated that Universal will “probably” go the reboot/prequel route with its Bourne franchise, putting the kibosh on the sequel, at least temporarily, while continuing to extract blood from the Bourne stone.

I’ve given the idea of casting a younger version of Jason Bourne some thought, and by process of elimination, I’ve concluded that there’s really only one candidate that suits the role. It needs to be someone who is younger than Damon was when he began the franchise (32), but not too young, as you don’t exactly become a spy right out of college. Plus, Ludlum’s Bourne had a wife and two children (who were killed) before the events of The Bourne Identity. Moreover, it needs to be someone with a modicum of acting ability to go along with his bad-assitude. He needs to be diminutive, compact, fair-skinned, and built like a goddamn brickhouse of shit.

By process of elimination, I think I’ve come up with the ideal candidate. Here is that process:

Mark Wahlberg: Sometimes considered the poor man’s Matt Damon, Wahlberg has many of the traits ideal for Bourne but for one major one: He’s too old.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt:, Joseph Gordon-Levitt — thanks to (500) Days of Summer and his association with Marc Webb — has been mentioned in connection to a lot of projects lately, but not this one: He’s too brunette, too thin, and way too fucking hip for the role of a spy.

Zac Efron: Are you kidding me? Way too goddamn pretty. Can you even imagine? He’d shriek like a girl every time he got hit.

Jamie Bell: Everybody likes Jamie Bell, even if he’s not a particularly big name. He’s only 24, but could play slightly older, and he’s displayed some action ability in Jumper. And while the Rin Tin Tin series will likely make him a bigger star, I just don’t see him as Bourne. He lacks the presence, though he’d probably be my second choice.

Hayden Christensen: Right age, right body type, and his wooden acting might even play well into the Bourne character. But a bad-ass evil guy? I think that Revenge of the Sith adequately demonstrated his inability to play morally ambiguous.

Chris Evans: He’s also the right age, and from a certain camera angle, could possibly fit the diminutive stature qualification. But he’s vanilla. He’s a lightweight. He’s straight-to-DVD. He’s the tenth choice for every role he wins. If they decide to completely destroy the franchise, Chris Evans is their man.

Channing Tatum: This goofy motherfucker? Too tall, too square-jawed, and would never be believable as an intelligent spy.

Beaker: If they did a Muppet version of Bourne, this is your lead right here. He’d need to dye his hair, and tone down the “Meep Meeps,” but I could totally see him in the role.

And by process of elimination, the ideal Bourne would be:

Ryan Gosling: It’s obvious, isn’t it? He’s compact; he’s a great actor; he’s chiseled; he’s the right age (28); he can do bad ass; and he doesn’t already have a franchise. He needs one, even if it is Matt Damon’s sloppy seconds. And with Gosling and the right director, I’d easily watch. Hell, I’d be excited. I’d be happy in my happy pants. Make it happen, Hollywood — I don’t care how many people need to be shot in the face. Ryan Gosling is reason enough for a Bourne prequel.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.