Blockbuster changes are in store for our summer action heroes.
America's multiplexes will feature back-to-back weekends of new faces. One will step into a familiar role, as Colin Farrell takes over the part Arnold Schwarzenegger made famous in Total Recall (opening Friday).
And one will be a new character starring in an enduring franchise, when Jeremy Renner plays a contemporary spy in The Bourne Legacy (Aug. 10).
"There is a love for these iconic figures," Total Recall director Len Wiseman. "It happens everywhere from Shakespeare to comic books — if there's a great character, a different take on it can be exciting."
Not to mention profitable for these two highly anticipated films, which come after audiences have embraced a new Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in The Avengers and a new Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield's The Amazing Spider-Man has made nearly $250 million).
Wiseman says he doesn't want to replace the memory of Schwarzenegger but aims to re-tell Philip K. Dick's 1966 science-fiction tale, which spawned the original 1990 Recall movie.
"There's no attempt, nor has there ever been, in replacing Arnold," says Wiseman.
This was clear from the casting of Farrell in the role as the true everyman who discovers he's actually a rebel leader.
"Originally, there was all this speculation about who was going to be 'The Next Arnold' in this," says Wiseman. "There was the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and other wrestlers. But I was going in such a different direction, because otherwise what's the point?"
In the new Bourne chapter, Renner plays Aaron Cross, a different spy in a different covert program from Matt Damon's Jason Bourne. It's a concurrent world that filmmakers wanted to explore after three Bourne movies, which have made close to $1 billion worldwide.
"We have a new character in the same vein as the Bourne character," says producer Frank Marshall. "It's the expanded (spy) world that Bourne lives in. They are kind of like cousins."
Marshall and Damon worked on 2002's The Bourne Identity, 2004's The Bourne Supremacy and 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum— a franchise which has earned critical raves and made more then $500 million.
Marshall says that any future installments of the Bourne series would follow Renner's character, but could even include a return of Damon's Bourne.
This twist of an Aaron Cross carrying the Bourne franchise is a Hollywood rarity, but both movies will need solid execution to win over the fans, Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com.
"People can be won over pretty quickly," says Dergarabedian. "It comes down to making a really good movie. And then people can embrace the new direction."