The Bourne Legacy is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Tony Gilroy, and is the fourth installment in the series of films adapted from the Jason Bourne novels originated by Robert Ludlum and continued by Eric Van Lustbader, being preceded by The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Although this film has the same title as Van Lustbader's first Bourne novel, The Bourne Legacy, the actual screenplay bears little resemblance to the novel. Unlike the novel, which features Jason Bourne as the principal character, the film centers on black ops agent Aaron Cross (played by Jeremy Renner), an original character. In addition to Renner, the film stars Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton.
The titular character Jason Bourne does not appear in The Bourne Legacy, as actor Matt Damon chose not to return for the fourth film, due to Paul Greengrass not directing. Bourne is shown in pictures and mentioned by name several times throughout the film. Tony Gilroy, co-screenwriter of the first three films, sought to continue the story of the film series without changing its key events, and parts of The Bourne Legacy take place at the same time as the previous film, The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
In The Bourne Legacy, Aaron Cross is a member of a black ops program called Operation Outcome whose subjects are genetically enhanced. He must run for his life once former CIA Treadstone agent Jason Bourne's actions lead to the public exposure of Operation Treadstone and its successor Operation Blackbriar.
Filming was primarily in New York City, with some scenes shot in the Philippines, South Korea, Pakistan, and Canada. Released on August 10, 2012, the film received mixed reviews, with critics praising the story, James Newton Howard's score, and Renner's performance, but expressed disappointment in Matt Damon's absence, as well as the lack of shaky camera work (a key element of Greengrass' directorial style) that the second and third films had used. The film was followed in 2016 by Jason Bourne, in which Damon and Greengrass reprised their earlier roles.