Aside from his small role in Christopher Nolan‘s “Interstellar,” it has been quite a few years since Matt Damon had a big blockbuster hit at the multiplex. You’d probably have to go back to 2011’s “Contagion,” which even by the standards of smash hits, was fairly modest. But this weekend he arrives in theaters with Ridley Scott‘s big piece of sci-fi spectacle, “The Martian,” and the actor will follow it up next summer with his yet-to-be-titled fourth adventure as Jason Bourne. But he’s playing it cautious with the series that cemented his bankability and proved he could be an action star.
That said, the allure of Jason Bourne is hard to resist. “I love this character. He’s so smart and resourceful and easy to root for. I always wanted to play him again,” the actor said about signing up for ‘Bourne 5.’
But sometimes, things don’t work out as planned. Case in point, prior to Johnny Depp‘s “Black Mass.” Damon and his pal Ben Affleck had been developing their own Whitey Bulger project at Warner Bros, with a draft of the script penned by Terence Winter (“Boardwalk Empire“). The studio wound up kiboshing the projecting when they jumped on “Black Mass,” but Damon explains they approach they were going for in their take on the gangland mastermind.
“We had a very different take on it,” he said. “[A South Boston author sent them] a really moving letter that basically said: ‘Don’t glorify this man any more. Please stop.’ And this is to take nothing away from ‘Black Mass.’ I hear the movie’s great. But Ben and I agreed with the guy who’d written us. And so we came up with this idea of doing it more like an anti-gangster movie. Make it look like what it was: something grotesque.”
The good news for Damon is that his plate is crowded with things to do. He recently wrapped Zhang Yimou‘s “The Great Wall,” and once he’s done with ‘Bourne,’ he’ll hop over to Alexander Payne‘s long-gestating “Downsizing,” which will shoot early in 2016.