Matt Damon Says It's Unlikely He'll Be Bourne Again


The odds of Matt Damon returning to the big screen as Jason Bourne are looking longer than ever judging from a conversation I had with the actor on Tuesday night. Damon, who's still sporting a shaved head for his work on the sci-fi thriller Elysium, was part of the starry crowd that turned out for a special private screening of Argo, which was beautifully directed by his bud and Good Will Hunting co-writer Ben Affleck.  During a dinner at the Porter House steakhouse in the Time Warner Center, I asked Damon if there had been any movement on reports that he could reprise his role after Jeremy Renner's portrayal of Aaron Cross in The Bourne Legacy, another agent in the Robert Ludlum-created universe, this past summer.

"There has not been any movement,"  Damon told me, explaining that though "I've always been open to it as long as Paul Greengrass directs, I don't think he's going to do it."  Damon laughed when he said this, as if, perhaps, he was downplaying how Greengrass really felt about The Bourne Legacy, or perhaps because he had his own falling-out with Gilroy — who has been a writer on every Bourne film and directed Legacy — over the script to the third movie, The Bourne Ultimatum.

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." (Legacy is meant to take place concurrently with the events of the third movie, and Jason Bourne is referenced.)

"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," Damon said with another laugh, noting:  "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."

"I'd really love to do another one because I love the character," Damon said, but then he pointed out another issue that would make it  "a real struggle to extend the franchise": Bourne's search to "find his identity" was what drove him through the first three movies. Now that he has answered that question, Damon said, "where do you go next?"

Have any ideas, Bourne fans?  Leave them in the comments box below, or copyright them and have your people contact Paul Greengrass' people.

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  • sid'sbowl says:

    Damn Tony Gilroy to movie purgatory forever for screwing with Bourne Ultimatum to make his wretched power play.

  • Sara says:

    if The Bourne Legacy is not sequel of Bourne Ultimatum then Mr greengrass, you have to continue this series again with Matt Damon.

  • Snappy says:

    I have not seen Legacy and don't plan to -- as long as Matt Damon does not return, the Bourne movies are done for me. As far as Gilroy goes, I think he was on a beach in Hawaii while Bourne Ultimatum was being re-written (because he wrote such a terrible product). The Ultimatum we see on the screen was not his finished work -- IS THAT NOT CORRECT, MR. GILROY? Please respond if I am wrong...which you will never respond -- because it is true.

  • KJ. Martin says:

    This sounds more like a cop-out than a legitimate reason for not wanting to continue. Since he didn’t see the film, he wouldn’t know that the events happen concurrently but really have little or nothing to do directly with Bourne’s storyline at that moment. So they wouldn’t have to disavow anything from Legacy, but they wouldn’t have to focus on Cross & Co., either. That said, anything short of a Bourne / Cross showdown is going to be a waste for moviegoers and the studio alike. So it looks like the show’s over for this pup.

    • schilla46 says:

      I agree with Matt - no good making it just for the money. He obviosuly wants to make it work, and make it work well. These have to be written to perfection, it's what has made them so great so far. Jason Bourne needs direction and a reason to return, and a good one. The first 3 are very authentic, this is what makes us return & want more. I haven't seen Legacy yet, I plan to when it's released on DVD, from what I've heard it's a bit hit and miss. The other 3 I went out and watch at the movies, knowing they would be awesome. Sad to see it pass, looks like I only have Bond to hang on too!

    • Frank DiGiacomo says:

      I'm just guessing here, but I suspect that Matt Damon is making a statement by saying that he hasn't seen 'Bourne Legacy' yet. It's subtle but effective way of saying the film is not worth seeing.

      • dammy says:

        You are right, it's really not worth seeing...The only solution right now, would be for them to re write Bourne Legacy with Matt Damon, which would be a difficult thing to do

  • kenny says:

    What i would have done is continue right after burner swam away. I say Jason catches up with Nike persons, since that was his first love. 2nd, they get married and have a family, 3rd, after little time has passed, Jason hears on the news that Pam Candy needs help to crack a similar case that only burned can solve. Since both inky and Pam both helped him to remember who he was, he wants to return the favor. The case could revolve around the ultimatum book with Carlos The Jacket, which was another burner like assassin. That is how i would continue the story with the burner name. I would not see the legacy without Matt. So i would skip the whole Runner legacy movie. I love the Ultimatum. I bought the movie, soundtrack and book. Kenny

  • Woodpecker says:

    Bourne and Cross should fight together against Edward Norton (forgot his name). that would be awesome. but to proof Cross' skills, he should find Bourne.

    • Frank DiGiacomo says:

      A franchise crossover featuring Cross and Bourne could be huge. The politics and ego-massaging would probably be required to make that happen are huger, so to speak. But it's sure sounds like a good idea.

  • CA says:

    I did see Bourne Legacy, and I did not think it was that bad. The time period was running parallel to Bourne Ultimatum, therefore it did not change nor is there any need to explain any of the events of either movie. I also think that "Bourne" was Matt Damon's best character, and none of his movies are as good as the Bourne ones. He must have his reasons, but I think there are stories left to tell, and to say otherwise is a copout.

    • Frank DiGiacomo says:

      Interesting point, CA. I get the impression there's a lot of bad blood between Gilroy on one side and Damon and Greengrass on the other. I suspect that if either Damon and/or Greengrass are in need of a hit, they'll consider resurrecting Jason Bourne.

  • Brownie says:

    We'll see how Matt's Liberace movie is received. He may want to be re-Bourne after that!

  • HCP says:

    Matt Damon's perspective is of a writer and not a director. Greengrass copied the first director's style - but very poorly and by the third movie duplicated almost identical scenes. This is why Greengrass can not do a fourth sequel; he can not bring anything fresh or orginial except shaky camerawork. Matt is concerned with the writing but when the producers essentially fired the first director Matt should have displayed his loyalty then. I think it is ironic that he shows so much "loyalty" to Greengrass - really I think he really is displaying a loyalty to himself (a characteristic often referred to as being self centered).
    The Bourne was developed by producers to be a franchise which involves a formula - Matt conviently finds this distasteful.

    "Bourne is no Bond"

    • Moe says:

      I would Love to see another Bourne Movie with Matt in it. I really liked the first three movies, and have read the books. It seems like there would be a lot of material they could get from the books to use for another Movie. I can understand why he would be picky about the script. .. I saw Legacy, but wasn't super impressed with it. Lets hope that Matt and Greengrass can pair up again.

  • Arsenio says:

    How about Matt Damon and Jeremy Renner take down all the programs that were made. They say there was never only one right? They could find and kidnap both of Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross' female partners that were in the program and helped them escape. Also, and this is just another idea, bring in Liam Nelson's character from Taken some how. If those programs are big organizations they might need him right? If not then fine just brainstorming. Contact me via Facebook Arsenio Yin

  • Linda says:

    I saw Bourne 4 with Jeremy Renner and it just didn't feel right, maybe because I am a dedicated fan to Matt Damon. I wish he would do another Bourne and answer why he entered the program to begin with. I would love to know why he signed up to be an assasin when clearly his character has a concious that the others didn't have.

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