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SYFY WIRE Treadstone

Bourne spinoff Treadstone wakes the sleeper agents in first action-packed teaser

By Benjamin Bullard
Treadstone on USA Network

It’s hard to believe it’s been 17 years since Matt Damon and director Doug Liman first brought Robert Ludlum’s fictional world of covert ops to life on the big screen with 2002’s The Bourne Identity. Now the franchise is getting reborn (pun intended) with a TV spinoff, and USA Network has finally unveiled the first teaser for Treadstone, introducing the show’s ensemble cast with plenty of the same fast-paced action we’ve come to expect from the movies.

The teaser may be light on setup, trading plot points in exchange for body blows and roundhouse kicks, but it gives us our best look yet at the show's expanded cast and affirms the first season will follow the Operation Treadstone stars as they first awaken to their pawn-like role in the CIA’s super-secret behavior modification program for sleeper agents.

In terms of choreographed fight heroics, the big-screen side of the Jason Bourne universe always has held its own alongside big-budget spy thrillers like Mission: Impossible, and the teaser hints that USA is chasing that same spectacular stunt work vibe for the TV series. USA describes Season 1 as an origin story for the agents, with each literally waking up in different locations across the globe to pick up the scent of their mission — while wondering why it feels like someone’s been messing with their minds.

Damon’s star turn in The Bourne Identity queued up a full-on film franchise, one that hit theaters with regularity through the early 2000s, before taking an extended hiatus after Jeremy Renner stepped into the lead role (not as Bourne, but as Aaron Cross) in 2012’s The Bourne Legacy. Damon and director Paul Greengrass revived Jason Bourne in 2016 in the movie of the same name, and that film’s relative success at the box office may have been just the hint producers needed to suspect that audiences might still harbor a healthy appetite for more of Ludlum’s Bourne spycraft on TV.

Treadstone stars Jeremy Irvine, Tracy Ifeachor, Omar Metwally, Brian J. Smith, Hyo Joo Han, Gabrielle Scharnitzky, Emilia Schüle, and Michelle Forbes, and is written and executive-produced by Heroes and Beyond creator Tim Kring, alongside Justin Levy, Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, and Bourne movie franchise alumni Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner. The show doesn’t yet have a firm release date, but is set to arrive at USA sometime this October.