Earlier today Renn had the skinny on what’s upcoming for Matt Damon project-wise. Not on that list? A fifth Bourne film. It’s been reported for a while that Damon’s refusal to return to the franchise that made him a bankable action commodity had everything to do with director Paul Greengrass’ unwillingness to return to that sandbox. But, reading between the lines, it would seem something more is going on as well. In an interview with Movieline the actor reveals that, despite of Bourne Legacy’s success, he will not be reevaluating that stance:
“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.”
Asked why Greengrass was loathe to return to the franchise, Damon said that although he hadn’t seen Legacy yet, “from what I understand, it 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.”
Pretty harsh words to dismiss a film he hasn’t seen. Especially considering Legacy director Tony Gilroy’s been with the franchise from the start as a writer. That, in addition to the fact that Legacy’s not half bad. What it speaks to is Damon’s own reported animosity towards Gilroy (revealed in this GQ article), who wrote Ultimatum under the condition there’d be no rewrites and no notes from the studio. Damon basically accuses Gilroy of running roughshod over the franchise and basically holding it for ransom. Considering the Universal’s willingness to put Gilroy in the director’s seat for Legacy, Damon’s angst seems fairly personal.
Jason Bourne’s story wrapped up fairly neatly in Ultimatum while Legacy proved you could still tell Bourne-free tales in that world. Personally I’d love to see a film where Aaron Cross has reason to track down Jason Bourne. Bourne is unequivocally one of the incredible talent’s defining roles. If such a film were ever to happen, Damon’s making clear it’d be without Tony Gilroy – a creative figure that’s now guided the franchise longer than even Damon himself.