Universal Pictures released the Matt Damon-less fourth entry in the Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy, earlier this year to a decidedly mediocre response from critics and audiences. At $275 million it wasn’t in any way a box office bomb, but against a budget of $125 million (not counting marketing), the film wasn’t a runaway success either. Though Jeremy Renner was a suitable lead and director Tony Gilroy took the series in an interesting direction (CHEMS!), fans have still been eager to see star Matt Damon return to the franchise.
A couple of months ago, Damon went on record saying that it’s unlikely he’ll play the character again since The Bourne Legacy happens in canon and going forward, he and director Paul Greengrass would have to build off of that story instead of creating something all their own. Now Damon has talked a bit more about the possibility of returning, revealing that he actually enlisted the help of The Dark Knight screenwriter Jonathan Nolan to try to craft a plausible story that would see Bourne return. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
“Paul Greengrass has to want to do it, and secondly and equally important, it comes down to Paul and I knowing what the hell we want to do. We just don’t have a story, and we haven’t had one.”
Given that Damon and Greengrass couldn’t get a line on the story, Damon reveals that he actually went to someone quite adept at crafting blockbuster dramas for a little help:
“I quietly went to Jonah Nolan, because he and his brother Chris did such a brilliant job on Batman and that whole mythology. I just said, can you put your brain on this? I can’t figure it out. And he took a run at it and he couldn’t crack it either. Paul and I have been talking about it for years. And we can’t quite see what the movie would be.”
Essentially we’re in the same boat as we were in October when Damon said he was unlikely to return to the role, but I find it interesting that he reached out to Nolan. If the guy behind The Dark Knight and The Prestige can’t figure out how to bring Damon’s Bourne back following the events of The Bourne Ultimatum and Legacy, I’m not sure anyone can.
Damon went on to add that he and Greengrass aren’t opposed to coming back at all, it just comes down to making it worthwhile:
“Neither of us is against it. I would love to do another one. I love that character. To me, the reason to make that movie is because people want to see it. Paul and I have said that to each other. We don’t take for granted the fact that we’ve built an audience for Bourne, that’s a real privilege. But our part of that bargain is that the movie is good and belongs with the other three. Until we can deliver that, we just can’t make it.”
Never say never, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for Damon and Greengrass to return to the Bourne franchise anytime soon.