Rumor: BOURNE 5 Delayed so Matt Damon Can Return to the Franchise [Updated]

by     Posted 185 days ago

matt-damon-bourne

A couple days ago, we reported that Universal has pushed back the fifth Bourne movie from August 14, 2015 to July 15, 2016.  The assumption was that A) summer 2015 is crowded as hell (it is); and B) the August date would be a better fit for the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton.  However, there may have been an ulterior motive to Universal kicking Bourne 5: CHEMS CHEMS CHEMS (unofficial title) to 2016.

The reason?  To bring back Matt Damon.  [UpdateMaybe, maybe not.  Producer Frank Marshall has weighed in on the rumor.]  Hit the jump for more.

bourne-ultimatum-matt-damonAs you may know, every time Damon is asked about whether or not he’ll return to the franchise, he says he would, but only if The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass was also on board.  Greengrass’ approach already made Universal twitchy (he likes to shoot a lot and then find the film in the editing room), and then the director and the studio had a big falling out when Green Zone flopped.  So no Greengrass meant no Damon, which meant having to reboot the franchise with Jeremy Renner as the star.

However, Latino Review is now reporting that the reason for the release date change is because Damon is returning to play Jason Bourne even though Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6) is on board to direct.  It’s possible that Damon likes the story they’re willing to tell (you’ll note that Andrew Baldwin had come on board to write a new draft of the script about a month ago), and I’m also slightly inclined to believe LR’s source that says Damon is looking for a hit after his recent string of box office misfires.

[Update:  Heat Vision caught up with producer Marshall, who confirmed that Renner would be returning as Aaron Cross, and had the following to say about the rumor that the reason for the delay was Damon's return:

"It's simply not true.  [Director] Justin Lin is working with Andrew Baldwin on an Aaron Cross script/story that they pitched us a few months ago. I talk to Justin all the time and the script is not ready.  It’s a summer movie, and if we don’t start pre-production now, we can’t make next summer. Therefore, it’s a wise decision to move to 2016.”

Now, technically Marshall denied that the release date change was to accommodate Damon’s involvement, so it should be noted that he did not deny Damon’s possible appearance in the film.  Semantics, I know.  Could be spin, could just be a messy knot of rumors.  Time will tell.]

Personally, I’d like to see Damon/Greengrass team-up again, but as long as the script is solid, then that’s what matters most.  I certainly don’t have a problem with Damon and Renner teaming up to lead a film, and even though The Bourne Legacy didn’t blow me away, Renner did a good job establishing a character who wasn’t just a carbon-copy of Bourne.  It could be interesting to see how the two secret agents bounce off each other and in what context.

But please: no more chems.

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  • Royale With Cheese

    If Damon is looking for a hit then this is probably not a good way to go. It’s funny how a few years ago this guy was the “It” guy in Hollywood and every one considered Ben Affleck a joke. Everything is transitory, people.

    • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

      Affleck was considered a joke as an actor, but Damon’s “it” guy status as a star and Affleck’s directorial prestige came to a head at roughly the same time (Bourne Ultimatum in 2007 to Invictus to True Grit to Adjustment Bureau and Gone Baby Gone in 2008 to The Town to Argo). It’s only the last couple of years that Damon has hit a slump, and by comparison Affleck’s output is much lower. And keep in mind, when Affleck stars in something he doesn’t direct (Runner Runner and To The Wonder) they tend to be panned/utter duds. The two actually have really similar and parallel trajectories in an odd way now that I really look at it.

      • huey

        lol yeah utter duds that he did the work for peanuts, they aren’t intended to be blockbusters or Ben would be commanding a giant fucking salary.

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Just because movies aren’t intended to be blockbusters doesn’t mean they can’t still massively underperform. To the Wonder’s worldwide haul: under a million dollars, and that’s on the heel of Malick’s previous film Tree of Life which reached $54 million. So yeah, a dud. Ben can’t really command the mega salary he used to. The only movies he stars in of any quality are the ones he directs (and sometimes produces – so it’s not in his interest to pay himself a big salary anyways).

      • Clarence Boddicker

        Completely see your point and agree with your analysis. I’m betting Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ will buck that unfortunate trend though.

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        That would be great, I want to believe Affleck has an acting career outside his own films, so maybe it just takes a superb director.

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        That would be great, I want to believe Affleck has an acting career outside his own films, so maybe it just takes a superb director.

      • Clarence Boddicker

        Completely see your point and agree with your analysis. I’m betting Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ will buck that unfortunate trend though.

  • Angel M.

    I’m calling BS, no way Matt Damon is cool with Justin Lin directing

    • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

      Why? Lin has really come a long way since he first started. Each of his FF films has improved with each outing. I actually like him as a director as he shows that he can adapt and improve himself and his craft w each film he does.

      • Person

        I don’t think it’s that Damon looks down on Lin, it’s more about him being loyal to Greengrass and still having bad blood about the way Green Zone was handled by Universal.

      • Farrell

        Bad blood can be bought off.

      • Person

        That’s prolly what’ll happen here. Damon and Gilroy also had some tension, so now that Gilroy’s gone Damon could be bought (I mean brought) back.

      • jack

        i agree. Lin has proven that with the fast and furious films.NO ONE should have made a fifth film in a franchise better than the first IMO.while i would have preferred to see him tackle an original action flick,this should be fucking awesome!

  • ItsNotaSchooner

    Matt, I’m curious, why the hate for the “chems” angle? Seemed like a good mcguffin for the conditioning and “superhuman-ness” of the agents. Thoughts?

    • Joey Nobluss

      Did you see the original (and obviously superior) trilogy of Bourne films?

      That’s why the “chems angle” is hated – because it takes the universe of the Jason Bourne films, a carefully calculated and effectively produced world that is able to feel realistic when telling an extraordinary story, and turned it into a superhero movie a la Limitless or Luc Besson’s upcoming film Lucy.

      Chems are a cheap way of explaining ever-increasingly ludicrous action set-pieces and cheapen the Bourne brand likening it to the over-the-top campness of the Bond franchise, or, like I said, the superheroic antics of the demi-god Marvel and DC characters.

      Bourne was awesome because he was human. Aaron Cross might as well have been Captain America.

      • Lazy screenwriter

        And a “MacGuffin” is supposed to be unimportant to the main story – Aaron Cross’ whole motivation was like that of a drug addict constantly harping on about his “chems”…

        Wasn’t exactly a MacGuffin. Or particularly well-crafted drama. it was just an explanation shoved into your face to give Aaron Cross less of a tortured history and character and more of a dependence on a sci-fi concept to turn him into an ass-kicking Wunderkind.

      • YodaRocks

        This is the same argument Star-Wars purists use against midichlorians. I am indifferent towards it.

      • Joey Nobluss

        No, the midi-chlorians are at least consistent with the characters and world which came before – they just offered an explanation that didn’t need to be.

        Aaron Cross and the “chems” re-write (read: bulldoze) the realism of the Bourne films in an effort to create ever more explosive and over-the-top action scenes to fuel young-tweens desire to watch “shit go boom.”

        “Chems” are not consistent with Jason Bourne, nor the world of his three films. My beef with The Bourne Legacy was that it was obviously an attempt to bring in an audience on false pretences, as the world of the film is something dissimilar to that of the Jason Bourne films…

      • ItsNotaSchooner

        I guess I was never overly into Bourne movies. I like them well enough, but they’re not on my top ten list or anything. I guess I felt that the chems were a good explanation as to why these soldiers were superior. Particularly the increase in intelligence aspect. True, Cross’s overly drug addict motivation was kinda silly, but the chems actually made the idea of his powers seem more real world to me, and less radio-active spider bite. Just my humble opinion. Also, was Cross in a different program than Bourne? I feel like he was a different form of superior soldier than Bourne

      • Joey Nobluss

        You know what is “less radio-active spider bite”?

        Training and conditioning.

        And “more real world” is the training and conditioning Jason Bourne went through to make him the killer/asset that he was – chems confuse things and make it less about any character and more about a magic drug. Though the film desperately wants you to care for Aaron but gives him such cheap trickery and disguises it as power that it makes for one dull character…

        Cross was, I think, supposed to be from a different program of “super” soldier creation. In the same way that I’m sure The Bourne Legacy was written as a derivative silly action-thriller and then had the Bourne name slapped onto it…

    • http://collider.com Matt Goldberg

      I just thought it was funny how many times they said “chems”.

      • ItsNotaSchooner

        That actually did get silly. Can someone say “driving the point home?”

      • ItsNotaSchooner

        That actually did get silly. Can someone say “driving the point home?”

  • Dave

    What the fuck is chems?

    • edshrinker

      It was a major plot point in Renner’s Legacy. Rachel Weisz was part of a supersoldier program that developed Chems to take guys like Renner and make them unstoppable

      • Dave

        Yeah, it was late when I figured it.

    • http://mysite.verizon.net/vzepr1xp/index.html unsean

      What does it sound like? Take a guess.

    • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

      chems means chemicals I suppose

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Please show your work on how you came to this conclusion.

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        easy:

        iℏ .(∂/∂t).Ψ=H Ψ

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        easy:

        iℏ .(∂/∂t).Ψ=H Ψ

  • Person

    I’ll believe it when I see it, but if it’s true, this is the best news in a while.

  • Merlin235

    The Bourne movies lost their appeal to me after the 2nd one. Though I have to say I enjoyed Renner’s take on it. I thought the Bourne Legacy was much more interesting than Ultimatum.

    • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

      bwahahaha!
      good one bro.

  • agent777

    Only a theory, but maybe another reason Damon wants Greengrass is due the massive amount of shit Damon’s talked about Bond. It puts him in a position of looking bad if the day came where people lost interest in or felt the tone had been lost with the Bourne series.

    • MJ

      Damon also needs a hit. He has not been bankable in several years. He is just a couple more bad movies away from becoming Jodie Foster.

  • yrulaughing418

    Hope it happens. How long can they keep making Bourne movies that don’t have Bourne in them?

  • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

    If Robert Ludlum writes the novel, and they will adapt it for the screen, then I’m in.
    But if it will be a sh*tty script like the one used for Bourne Legacy, then it’s dead for me.

    • You Don’t Know Google

      One, Ludlum is long dead.

      Two, the only thing the Greengrass/Damon Bourne films took from the “original source material” was the titles – the plots are already VASTLY different.

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Still baffled that this isn’t common knowledge. Also, kind of hoping that they’ll adapt the novels more closely some day, the whole Jackal plot was pretty awesome.

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        you mean that all the Treatstone thing wasn’t in Ludlum’s books ?

      • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

        Treadstone exists – just not in the same way; Black Briar, Nikki, Marie dying (at all), a cover-up, — are all different. It’s basically a special agent loses his memory (much in the same way it happens in the movie) midway through a deep cover mission to track down and kill the legendary terrorist known as The Jackal (his Cold War era phase). That was a gross simplification, but it’s a pretty fun/entertaining series of books.

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        dead ? Then it’s dead for me.

      • You Don’t Know Google

        Your replies are always baffling – why do you post on this site if you’re not going to say anything of worth?

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        said the google man.

      • You Don’t Know Google

        Yeah, once again, not really funny, informative or coherent.

    • MJ

      Huh???

      Dude, he died over a decade ago.

  • Otis Bundle

    I wish Damon would commit, but sadly he won’t. Jeremy Renner is a great actor, but I don’t like the idea of him continuing with the Bourne series. “The Bourne Legacy” sucked, period.

    • MJ

      Jeremy Renner is an overrated actor who cannot carry a movie as a lead.

      That is why this is happening, and that is also why he will never get the keys to Mission Impossible either. He is generally a bore to watch.

      Once in a while he can pull it off — The Hurt Locker and American Hustle were rare instances when he did provide a compelling character. But he plays the exact same secondary boring action character in Avengers, MI, and Bourne…the guy puts me to sleep in those films.

      • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

        Finally someone who shares my thought on the boring Renner.

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