Matt Damon is coming off a terrific 2015 with just one picture. “The Martian” was not only a critical and popular hit, it’s done so well, it’s assumed the Ridley Scott sci-fi picture can nab a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actor nod for Damon at the Oscars (its already earned the same at the Golden Globes, albeit in the kid gloves, comedy/musical section, with many suspecting the Hollywood Foreign Press Association placed the movie in that category to get a star like Damon nominated). But what’s next? Well, a fifth, currently untitled ‘Bourne’ movie is on the way. But what about superheroes?
Damon was once (very dubiously) rumored to be potentially playing Aquaman in the D.C. Comics movies from Warner Bros.’ and his bff Ben Affleck is obviously going to play Batman next year. Asked point blank by Variety if Damon would appear in a superhero movie the answer was pretty negative.
“I hear [‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘] is good. I haven’t seen it yet but he’s seen a rough cut and I think [Ben’s] very pleased,” Damon said. “But no, I don’t know that there are any comic book characters left.”
One could argue he’s already playing a kind of superhero archetype, granted a much more grounded and realistic one with Jason Bourne. So what’s up with the ‘Bourne 5’ due in 2016?
Well, thanks to the awards season, the movie has had the benefit of taking a break and will continue shooting in the new year. “We’re probably about halfway through,” he explained. “We started in September but they’re going dark for most of December and cutting basically the first two acts. And then we have the third act and then whatever we owe from the first two acts.”
Considering the third act of “The Bourne Ultimatum” was essentially figured out on set by Damon, filmmaker Paul Greengrass and the film’s editor Christopher Rouse, who is co-writing ‘Bourne 5’ with its star and director, a break is probably their best case scenario (though lets hope and assume they figured it out before shooting).
Damon and Greengrass walked away from the character in 2007 and the actor spoke about his uncertainty whether to do more. “I wasn’t sure [about more movies],” he said. “I hoped I wasn’t because I really liked the franchise and the character but I didn’t see a way to go [forward]. But I wasn’t giving up on the idea of doing it. Paul and I kind of talked years ago about perhaps the way forward was just to let time pass and allow the world to change a little.”
Time has indeed passed and while Damon didn’t offer up specific details he did say the ensuing years of Jason Bourne going into hiding is a big part of the story.
“So technically when the Bourne character disappears, it’s still 2004. So when this next [movie] comes out in 2016, it will have been 12 years — in movie years — that the character as been off the grid. So what’s happened in those intervening years gives you a story,” he explained.
Damon has already spoken about how the Edward Snowden business was one of the elements that inspired the upcoming ‘Bourne.’ We still don’t know a plot or details, but something clearly has made Jason Bourne come out of hiding after twelve long years. What he’s been doing in that time is certainly an intriguing set-up. “Bourne 5” is not that far away and opens July 29, 2016.