“The best thing was to move on, have someone else come in and make their mark on it,” director Paul Greengrass said last year about the ‘Bourne’ series he helped turn into a worldwide phenomenon. “In the end I felt I had given it my all in two films I’m very proud of and didn’t want to make another if I didn’t believe it could be as good if not better.”
At the time, that appeared to be the final word on ‘Bourne,’ but little did audiences know Damon was still keen on making one—at least if Greengrass would be involved. And Damon kept to his word, insisting he would not reprise the role of Jason Bourne unless Greengrass directed. Sometime between last year and a few months ago Damon and Greengrass spoke again, with the actor asking the filmmaker if he could conceive of a way back into the character, and it appears they’ve cracked the code that had eluded them since 2009 when the 4th film fell apart.
News of Damon and Greengrass reprising their roles in their series, as star and director respectively, was reported earlier this fall. And while longtime producer Frank Marshall, tried to apply caution to the reports suggesting that a Damon/Greengrass movie could be delayed, Damon confirmed the news tonight during press for “Project Greenlight.” And it sounds like things are moving full steam ahead, with a target shoot date as well.
E! spoke to Ben Affleck on the red carpet asking about his beefing up for “Batman V. Superman,” and the actor spilled the goods first. “Well, [Damon’s] going to be doing a ‘Bourne’ movie next fall when I’ve just completely lost any semblance of physical fitness. So….,” Affleck said.
When asked about the shooting dates, Damon confirmed. “Yes, next year,” he clarified. “It’ll be in 2016 when the movie will actually come out. [Director] Paul Greengrass is going to do another one and that’s all I ever said. I just needed him to say yes.”
So it sounds like the original plan stands: ‘Bourne 5’ with Damon and Greengrass will come first in the summer of 2016, while the ‘Bourne Legacy’ spin-off with Jeremy Renner will follow some undetermined time in the future. Presumably the plan is for the two characters to eventually meet and square off, but if that’s the case they may need to create some kind of aligned universe building ala Marvel and every other studio in the world. Don’t be surprised if Damon and Greengrass do their thing first and see if it works before that happens.
1/6/15 update: Universal Pictures’ UNTITLED NEXT BOURNE CHAPTER will move from July 15, 2016, to Friday, July 29, 2016.