After a trilogy of movies bearing titles such as “The Bourne Identity,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” and “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the fourth film in the saga of Jason Bourne (which presumably circumvents the side-quel “The Bourne Legacy“) is keeping things simple with its name: “Jason Bourne.” And that choice makes perfect sense when you hear Matt Damon‘s explanation of where this sequel fits into the puzzle of deciphering his lead character.
“This is the completion of this journey that started in the ‘Bourne Identity.’ It’s part of the first three [movies], it’s not a whole new chapter. It feels like the conclusion, even though we’re not saying it’s the conclusion, it feels like the conclusion of my identity journey. It goes deeper than ‘Ultimatum,’ basically,” he told EW.
That being said, it seems we’ll also be finding Bourne at his lowest point yet. “We talked a lot about what state he should be in, and where we came to was that if you found him fat and happy and content, you don’t really have a movie…we find him in a very dark and tortured place. He’s living with the same things as he was before, and then he goes to find Julia Stiles’ character, who basically says, ‘Just because you remember everything, doesn’t mean you know everything.’ So you find him in a place that’s dark and unresolved.”
Previously, Damon has suggested the post-Edward Snowden era would inform the story, and he once again stresses the impact of the modern era on the film. “Since 2007, so much has changed. There’s been the financial collapse, the great recession, all these issues of cyber warfare and civil liberties — things that are slowly coming to into the zeitgeist as we start to grapple with what the future is going to look like,” he said. “And so those are kind of somewhere in the stew of our story. If you look at the first three, they are films that are product of the Bush presidency. Thematically, they touch on things people were talking and thinking about during that presidency. This one feels like a movie about today.
“This movie opens with an austerity riot in Athens, and that’s very much by design. It feels current with what’s going in our world. You’re always creating an alternate reality with Bourne, but you want to feel like it’s our world,” he adds.
So, a grittier, darker, more relevant Bourne? Sounds like it. “Jason Bourne” opens on July 29th.