[Update: Variety adds that Viggo Mortensen has been offered the role of the film’s villain.]
Another familiar face is onboard for the new Bourne film. While it seemed unlikely that director Paul Greengrass or Matt Damon would return to the franchise after The Bourne Ultimatum given Greengrass’ contentious relationship with Universal, a minor miracle occurred last fall when it was announced the both Greengrass and Damon were indeed coming back to make a new Bourne movie for release in 2016.
Development continues as Damon and Greengrass are penning the screenplay alongside Christopher Rouse, and as production looks to begin this fall in London, Deadline reports that Julia Stiles is set to reprise her role as covert agent Nicky Parsons in the new Bourne picture. Stiles’ character has appeared in all of the Bourne films thus far, becoming an unlikely ally for Damon’s titular spy as the series progressed. It’s unclear how she’ll fit into the story this time around, but she had a key role in Ultimatum, which saw Bourne seemingly finding some sort of closure after exposing Operation Blackbriar to the public.
Alicia Vikander remains in talks for another role in the film, and I would be surprised if Stiles is the only familiar face that returns. Greengrass helmed The Bourne Supremacy in addition to Ultimatum, taking the franchise to new heights as it tackled post-9/11 issues under the guise of a smart spy thriller, all the while reinventing how fight sequences were shot.
The script was famously fluid on these two films, Ultimatum especially, as Damon, Greengrass and the team worked some sort of magic on set to result in the spectacular finished products. It sounds like they’re starting on more solid footing this time around, with producer Frank Marshall recently telling Steve that the script is essentially done, so it’ll be interesting to see if Greengrass, Damon, and Co. can match—or surpass—the quality of their previous collaborations on the Bourne series. We’ll find out when the untitled sequel opens in theaters on July 29, 2016.