Edward Norton‘s had a rocky path in Hollywood, partly by his own making. Known for tinkering with scripts, he’s done films out of contractual obligation, and never courted an easy path. And yet Hollywood keeps coming back, perhaps because he is rather talented. Perhaps he’s finally made peace with working within the industry, because he’s the leading contender for the role of the villain in Tony Gilroy‘s upcoming Bourne reboot The Bourne Legacy, according to Variety.

Norton had a period where his “passionate actor” sensibilities were embraced by Hollywood, and he was nominated for an Oscar in American History X. But over the last decade he’s mostly worked on the sides of the industry, with The Incredible Hulk a rare attempt at something really commercial.  That he was replaced by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers suggests that didn’t go over as well as anyone hoped.

A bad guy turn is definitely in his wheelhouse, as his big break was in Primal Fear where he played a character with hidden motives, but his role in The Italian Job was noted by many as something he did solely out of a contractual obligation. Something that his performance also suggested. Of course he’s just in negotiations, which means that this might not come to pass. Regardless, with Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz already attached, the production is looking for some of the best actors around.

Would you see a Matt Damon-free Bourne movie?