Universal Pictures made its presentation to theater owners today at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, and Steve was onhand to get a look at what Universal has planned in the near future. While he’ll have his recap of the footage online a bit later, we wanted to share a couple of news tidbits that were announced during the panel which include updates on the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel and the next Bourne film. Hit the jump for more.
From director Gus Van Sant, the small town drama Promised Land tells the story of Steve Butler (Matt Damon), a corporate salesman who has been dispatched to the rural town of McKinley with his sales partner (Frances McDormand) to see if the two can get the citizens to sign over the drilling rights to their properties. But, when an environmental activist (John Krasinski) arrives in town, the residents start to question what’s best for themselves and their community. For more on Promised Land, here are seven clips and the trailer.
At the film’s press day, actor Matt Damon talked about how quickly they shot the film, having a rough cut done four weeks ahead of schedule, how he came to collaborate on the script with Krasinski, their process for writing together, working with McDormand, what made Van Sant the right director when he decided he wouldn’t be able to take that on himself, and why this was an important story for him to tell. He also talked about kissing Michael Douglas in Behind the Candelabra, an HBO movie about the relationship between Liberace and his younger live-in lover, and whether he’d ever consider returning to the role of Jason Bourne. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
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.
The Bourne franchise is at a crossroads. Does the success of each movie depend on Matt Damon, or can Universal turn Bourne into Bond, an evergreen series that rotates in fresh blood every few movies? To explore that question, I tried to capture how the series has evolved over the last decade with Bourne by the Numbers. The feature provides a numbers-based snapshot of each movie and its place in the filmography by looking at the box office, critical reception, and miscellaneous facts.
Hit the jump for a comprehensive review of the Bourne movies, featuring The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and The Bourne Legacy.
Director Paul Greengrass created what it meant to be a “Bourne” movie with The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. If the James Bond movies are girls, gadgets, cars, and supervillains, then Bourne was going to be about intense action scenes, desperate chases, paranoia, and political commentary. Sadly, Greengrass did not return to the Bourne franchise, and co-writer and director Tony Gilroy has set the series back with the flabby and forgettable The Bourne Legacy. Gilroy attempts to write his own set of rules by playing against a traditional three-act structure, which is fine in theory, but in practice it creates a film that’s constantly losing momentum, and never sure where to focus its energy. The movie’s saving grace is Jeremy Renner, who gets to be in the mold of Jason Bourne but find new strengths and weaknesses that set him apart from the eponymous spy. Sadly, the rest of The Bourne Legacy never follows Renner’s lead to find a fresh direction while still retaining what worked about the past two movies.
[With The Bourne Legacy set to open this Friday, we'll be taking a look back at the original Bourne trilogy. These reviews will contain spoilers since the movies have been out for years. Click here for my review of The Bourne Identity and click here for my review of The Bourne Supremacy.]
In 2004, the post-9/11 American had begun to take shape and The Bourne Supremacy reflected that change. It provided a conscious subtext, but the movie remained first and foremost an action-thriller. But by 2007, the change in our country was no longer worthy of a simple observation. The change had produced a feeling, and that feeling was anger. We had been misled into a war, and the government was taking extraordinary powers against Americans in the name of protecting Americans. The Bourne Ultimatum is unapologetically political, which is its greatest weakness and its greatest strength. Director Paul Greengrass still delivers a pulse-pounding blockbuster that retains the same intensity of Supremacy, but he pushes audiences to not only recognize the seismic shift in our country, but to confront our complicity in it.
[With The Bourne Legacy set to open this Friday, we'll be taking a look back at the original Bourne trilogy. These reviews will contain spoilers since the movies have been out for years. Click here for my review of The Bourne Identity.]
The identity of the Bourne franchise begins in the third act of The Bourne Identity. It’s when the character’s strengths and weaknesses begin to arise, and The Bourne Supremacy director Paul Greengrass took note of where not only the character was going, but where America was going. The Bourne Identity came out in June 2002, and the sense of our country’s post-9/11 world was still hazy. By the time The Bourne Supremacy arrived on July 23, 2004, the reverberations were clear. We had been led into a war based on faulty intelligence that was cherry-picked so that we could attack a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. Greengrass wasn’t obligated to insert the subtext into his spy thriller, but he was savvy enough to leave the political commentary simmering underneath an intense action flick that not only boosted Matt Damon‘s credibility as a kick-ass hero, but found a way to use hand-held cinematography to its full effect rather than a lazy shortcut.
[With The Bourne Legacy set to open this Friday, we'll be taking a look back at the original Bourne trilogy. These reviews will contain spoilers since the movies have been out for years.]
In the years following his breakthrough success with Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon‘s career had hit a snag. He was a talented actor who had made a series of bad choices in terms of leading roles. Furthermore, he had never taken on the role of an action hero, but Universal took a chance on the actor, and had him star in the thriller The Bourne Identity. Director Doug Liman has also never done an action film before, and had made his name on the indie features Swingers and Go. Strangely, neither the director nor his star does a particularly great job with the film, but it was a hit and led to two excellent features once Paul Greengrass took over the franchise. I didn’t care much for The Bourne Identity when I saw it back when it was released in 2002. I hadn’t revisited the movie until today, and unfortunately, it still has a lot of problems. Thankfully, these problems then serve to illustrate what makes the character works and separates him from other action heroes.
You can’t keep a good spy down, but you can dig deeper into his past. In a red carpet interview with Matt Damon, Empire learned that the next Bourne film is looking like it will be a prequel. Says Damon:
“There’ll probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we do another one,” he said, “just because I think we’re probably another five years away from doing it – we’ve got to get a script…”
This sounds like more of a stopgap than a real Bourne movie. Maybe it’s because I’m too attached to the Damon/Greengrass mix but I’m not sure what a prequel has to offer. The whole point of the Bourne trilogy is Jason Bourne’s attempt to discover his past. By the end of The Bourne Ultimatum, we know what happened to him and so any new ground would probably just be a random mission featuring the character. On the bright side, we could see his training process and how he learned to kill someone with a rolled up magazine.
As we reported yesterday, director Paul Greengrass has will not direct the highly-anticipated fourth installment of the Bourne franchise . Greengrass issued to following statement [via BFDMemo]:
You won’t find a more devoted supporter of the Bourne franchise than me. I will always be grateful to have been the caretaker to Jason Bourne over the course of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. I’m very proud of those films and feel they express everything I most passionately believe about the possibility of making quality movies in the mainstream. My decision to not return a third time as director is simply about feeling the call for a different challenge. There’s been no disagreement with Universal Pictures. The opportunity to work with the Bourne family again is a difficult thing to pass up, but we have discussed this together and they have been incredibly understanding and supportive. I’ve been lucky enough to have made four films for Universal, and our relationship continues. Jason Bourne existed before me and will continue, and I hope to remain involved in some capacity as the series moves on.
Now whether you think that’s just a long-winded way of saying “creative differences” or that Greengrass is making sure not to burn a bridge or if this is the straight dope, the truth still remains that whenever we see the 4th Jason Bourne movie, it won’t have Paul Greengrass as its director. Now the question becomes if Greengrass’ departure means Matt Damon, whose loyalty lies with his director, will still return.