For a while, the rumor was floating that the spinoff film “The Bourne Legacy” would in some way utilize Matt Damon‘s Jason Bourne character, possibly in a cameo. Hell, the guy’s already in the title. This ignores the politics of tentpole moviemaking, as the very act of rebooting serves many strategies, one of them being, “We’re sick of paying the people who bring us success.” So even with the ‘Bourne’ franchise achieving ever-escalating box office grosses ($442 million worldwide on the last entry), Damon, director Paul Greengrass and Universal couldn’t reach a suitable agreement regarding a fourth film, leading to the significantly cheaper team of director Tony Gilroy and star Jeremy Renner.
To cement how “The Bourne Legacy” came together pretty much entirely without the involvement of the people who made the last three films successes, Damon told MTV that he won’t be lending an appearance to the summer 2012 release. “No, I have no idea about any of it,” he said in regards to the film’s production. “No, no [you won’t see me in the background of the new one]. He’s got a whole other thing that they’re doing and I wish them well and Tony [Gilroy’s] really smart. I’m sure they’re going to be great.” Gracious, modest ignorance and diplomacy. No wonder they want this guy to run for President.
Damon’s no idiot, though, as he kept the door open to another ‘Bourne’ film with Greengrass. “All I know is that it doesn’t preclude Paul [Greengrass] and me from doing another one of ours,” he said. By hitching his wagon to Greengrass, he’s strengthening his bargaining position. He’s the meal ticket, and unless “The Bourne Legacy” does $500 million global, Damon will always be the star attraction. Continuing the films within that universe means Damon looms large and audiences will expect him to return. If he includes the condition that Greengrass must be his collaborator, then he’ll be able to make other suggestions based on the story and salary. “The Bourne Legacy” is scheduled for release on August 3rd, 2012.