As we just noted the other day, the ‘Bourne’ franchise direction is moving in a very different direction from its original pedigree. Not only are Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass long gone, but so is the series writing architect Tony Gilroy. “The Bourne Legacy” offshoot starring Jeremy Renner wasn’t quite the immense hit that Universal wanted and so the studio went another way.
Instead they totally changed gears and went with Justin Lin of “Fast & Furious 6” as the director and Anthony Peckham (“Sherlock Holmes”) as the screenwriter. That’s as far as you can get from the aforementioned three creative principals that made the series the worldwide hit that it was.
And so there’s good news and there’s bad news. Still dated for an August 14, 2015 release (for now anyhow), the fifth untitled ‘Bourne’ film has hired another writer to pen the script. That’s slightly bad news because it suggests that while Peckham may have done a good first pass, the screenplay is not where it needs to be and they have to bring in another writer. Frankly, that’s par for the course in Hollywood, so no worries, right? But you do generally want to go into production on a big tentpole like this one year before your release date (unless you want a disastrous rush like “X-Men: Days Of Future Past“). So if the screenplay’s not quite done yet, well, it’s not panic time or anything, but it’s definitely not what the studio wants to hear (if ‘Bourne 5’ gets a release date bump into 2016, then you really know they haven’t cracked the script yet). If I were the producers on this, I’d be wanting to get into pre-production this summer, not looking at a new script.
The good news is they’ve hired Andrew Baldwin to rework the screenplay. Baldwin landed on our Screenwriters On The Rise list in 2012 and his CV is promising. He was hired to write the now-dead remake version of “Logan’s Run” for Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling, he penned “The Outsider,” which Tom Hardy was originally attached to star in, a Western he wrote called “The West Is Dead,” landed him on the Black List in 2008 and Timur Bekmambetov attached himself to direct his “Red Asphalt” script which Lionsgate nabbed up a few years ago.
So that’s a promising writer who probably sounds a little bit more suited for the material then the guy who wrote “Sherlock Holmes.” Well, fingers crossed anyhow, because the Lin/Peckham version doesn’t scream “the thinking man’s action film” series like the one of the past. No details are out yet obviously and that’s because they probably haven’t landed on a good direction yet.