To replace the star of a successful, ongoing franchise is a huge risk, one that rarely (if ever) works out. Yet, film series do this all the time; sometimes its due to alleged acting deficiencies (Maggie Gyllenhaal for Katie Holmes in "The Dark Knight"), contract disputes (Mark Ruffalo for Ed Norton's Hulk in "Avengers") or even death (Michael Gambon for Richard Harris in "Harry Potter").

On Friday it happens again, this time with Jeremy Renner replacing Matt Damon in "The Bourne Legacy." While Renner may not be playing the same character as his predecessor, the two roles are very similar (deadly assassins who belong to top-secret government programs). The trend will also continue next year with Tom Hardy taking over for Mel Gibson in "Mad Max: Fury Road" and Henry Cavill snatching Superman's red cape from Brandon Routh's hands in "Man of Steel."

Though the verdict is still out on Renner's "Bourne," let's take a look back at the times replacing an actor did (and didn't) work.

categories Movies