Matt Damon Says It’s Unlikely He’ll Play Jason Bourne Again

     October 10, 2012


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.

jeremy-renner-the-bourne-legacy-imageMovieline 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.

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  • iMe

    Good news. Bourne has the perfect ending. No need to go back again.

  • tom brill

    Gilroy was aiming for this all along. Now you’re stuck with him, Universal. Watch your backs.

  • JPA

    Well,that’s not good. I thought Legacy was mediocre. Even tough the acting is great,the story is not as compelling as the first three by a long shot and there’s little action. I was hoping for a sequel that would feature both Damon and Renner,and that’s what kept me excited. Let’s hope they step up the story a bit next time at least.

    • Weeks

      I agree, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s mediocre. It just lacked the extra dimension that the original series had with the whole morality issue so it felt a bit hollow in comparison. I’m hoping they’ll build on this story in the sequels and give the story more depth.

  • Cody B

    I’m not seeing what the issue is. Legacy doesn’t intrude or rewrite anything that came before. It would very easy for Bourne to come back into the food of things and pick up where they left off with with Renner in the mix as well. Sounds like Damon hasn’t even watched Legacy. If he’d seen it I think he’d realize how amazing it would be to see both him and Renner in the same movie

    • Northern Star

      The issue is that both Damon and Greengrass rightly didn’t do a fourth film because the Bourne story ended (for all intents and purposes) in ‘…Ultimatum’, but Universal didn’t want to let a profitable franchise go, so continued on without them… and tainted what was easily one the best big-screen espionage sagas to date, that’s the issue, period.

      • S

        Legacy was lackluster, but it did not write the Damon story into a corner at all. If fact, it is written by the same writer. Damon said he would do a sequel, just not for a few years yet. He has only just now changed his tune, so it seems incorrect to claim he and Greengrass were rightly not returning. It seems there is a bit of a feud between Gilroy and the two of them, and something increased the tension. I am guessing Greengrass doesn’t want to play in the sand box Gilroy is building with the legacy series, because he wants the freedom to throw much of Gilroy’s script out when the time comes, but with the continuity involved, he might have less flexibility, and maybe Damon doesn’t want to share the spotlight with another lead. I for one hope they work it out, and we get the team-up movie, but I won’t hold my breath. More concretely, I hope the next Renner movie is more well rounded, and can stand on its own.

    • Thesaurusrs

      Of course Legacy “intruded”! Gilroy maimed Ultimatum’s perfect ending – for no reason other than spite, from what I can see. The proof is in the movies. Greengrass and Liman’s are classics and Gilroy’s is crap.

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  • Yahzee

    Sounds excellent. I never wanted the series to go on, as it was a perfect trilogy in every sense (one of the very few). Greed made Legacy, that was all and I’m glad neither Greengrass nor Damon are willing to follow that.

  • Thesaurusrs

    Of course Legacy \"intruded\"! Gilroy maimed Ultimatum\’s perfect ending – for no reason other than spite, from what I can see. The proof is in the movies. Greengrass and Liman\’s are classics and Gilroy\’s is crap.

  • David Webb

    I was really hoping he’d return as Bourne and team up with Renner’s character. Oh, well. I thought Legacy was good, though. Not as good as the first 3 by any means, but still solid. I think a lot of people didn’t even give it a chance because Matt Damon isn’t in it. I felt that way at first, but I gave it a chance and it was good.

  • Jordan

    Fine with me. The Bourne movie were way off from their source material anyway. I say reboot, and this time actually stick to the plots in the books.

  • THGhost

    Well he can hardly come back now, can he? What with Jeremy Renner taking over…

  • Brownie

    Let’s see how Matt’s Liberace does in the theatres. He may want to be re-Bourne after that one.

    • Rogue Riderhouse

      Brownie you do know Liberace is an HBO movie, lol.

      And Legacy was terrible by the way. No more. Let the Bourne series RIP.

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  • david

    I think “legacy” got a bad rap. I thought the story was very clever. Rachael is a very good actor, Jeremy is always good, as was the supporting cast. The wolf and mtn cabin scenes with the drone, the farmhouse scene, were very original. the “search and find” jeremy technology scenes were well done and informative( scary if mostly true). the far east chase scenes were way too long, but i loved the demise of the Linx agent. Just sorry the film wasn’t supported better. that said, either series could branch off separately and remain enjoyable compared to the crap that’s generally out there. Ideally bringing the two agents together would be a huge monetary success for the genre. make it happen!

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