Universal has hired Bourne trilogy screenwriter Tony Gilroy to pen a treatment for the fourth installment in the franchise. Tentatively titled The Bourne Legacy, the film will be based on book written by Eric Lustabader in Ludlum’s series. Gilroy wrote the screenplay for all the previous Bourne movies. Deadline reports that Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley will return to produce and that the picture is set for a 2012 release date.
The big question is whether Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass will return. The answer to that question is probably “No.” Damon has said that he’ll only return if Greengrass directs and Greengrass has made it clear that he has no intention of doing so. Deadline speculates that Gilroy’s involvement (plus a potentially-ridiculous payday) could lure Damon back. I’m leaning towards what Damon speculated could happen: that a new actor would take on the Bourne identity (no pun intended) so it would be like the James Bond films except the series would acknowledge a new actor in the role. And not to read too much into it, but the title “The Bourne Legacy” would indicate that Bourne has bequeathed something to another person.