When it was first announced that the Bourne franchise would be undergoing a reboot without Matt Damon or the Jason Bourne character, fans wondered whether this meant the end of Damon’s Bourne films. The actor remained optimistic that he could eventually return to the series one day with director Paul Greengrass, who helmed The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, so everyone remained optimistic that we’d see a proper sequel to Ultimatum someday. Screenwriter Tony Gilroy took over directing duties for the spin-off of sorts, The Bourne Legacy, setting up a story that overlapped with the events of Ultimatum but focused on a new character played by Jeremy Renner who had an obsessive fixation on chems.
Throughout the development of Legacy, Damon still maintained that he might return to the franchise at some point, and Gilroy made it clear that he hoped to team Damon and Renner up in a future installment. Well now all of that seems unlikely, as Damon recently revealed that he probably won’t be reprising the Jason Bourne character again. Hit the jump for more.
Movieline recently caught up with Damon, who provided an update on a true sequel to Ultimatum:
“There has not been any movement. I’ve always been open to it as long as Paul Greengrass directs, I don’t think he’s going to do it.”
The reporter notes that Damon laughed when he said he doesn’t think Greengrass would be up for returning, implying that some recent development had put the filmmaker off the franchise for good. When asked why Greengrass is unlikely to do another Bourne film, Damon noted effect of Gilroy’s Legacy:
“From what I understand, [The Bourne Legacy] kind of relives [The Bourne Ultimatum] from a different perspective. What that means, because they use our actors and characters, is that whatever they said [in Legacy] is true and so we’d have to acknowledge it in any Bourne movie that we’d do. And that makes it really tough. I don’t think we can do the Dallas it-was-all-a-dream scenario. I don’t think the audience would go for that after they paid money to see a movie.”
It’s a valid point, and both Damon and Greengrass already have touchy relationships with Gilroy so teaming back up with the scribe is pretty much out of the question. Legacy was an acceptable thriller, but it fell way short of Greengrass’ Supremacy and Ultimatum.
Though a moderate box office success upon release, grossing $232 million worldwide, when you factor in the $125 million budget and marketing the profit margin for The Bourne Legacy becomes rather narrow. Whether we see a continuation of the Legacy story in further films is unclear, but it definitely sounds like those holding their breath for another Damon-led Bourne film are destined for disappointment.