Matt Damon’s mantra where it concerns the Jason Bourne franchise – since he and director Paul Greengrass completed the original Bourne movie trilogy with Bourne Ultimatum – has always been that he’ll do another movie if (and only if) the story makes sense. Not to mention, Damon’s always indicated that Greengrass must be part of the package, if Universal wants the actor to commit to reprising his role as the ultimate U.S. government assassin in the developing untitled fifth movie installment (Bourne 5, for brevity’s sake).
Earlier this month, reports emerged that Universal has begun the screenwriting process on Bourne 5, with Jeremy Renner lined up to return as the Aaron Cross character, who was introduced in the Damon-less Bourne Legacy (that’s assuming you don’t count Damon’s picture’s cameos in that film). However, it would appear as though the studio hasn’t abandoned all hope of getting Damon to make an appearance in Bourne 5 – which, if he does, would mean that he’ll undoubtedly wind up sharing the screen with Renner for part of the running time.
Twitch Film is claiming that Universal is negotiating with Damon and Greengrass at the same time, in the hope of better tempting the one by being able to offer the other’s potential commitment as a benefit. The site indicates that Universal still plans to continue with the Aaron Cross stream of Bourne films “regardless of what happens on the Damon front;” meaning, any cross-overs or mergers between the Cross and Bourne characters’ storylines will be sorted out once negotiations either result in – or fail to produce – a Damon/Greengrass deal.
[UPDATE: Variety has reached out to Universal, but the studio is denying that there is any truth to this rumor about Damon and Greengrass being in negotiations to return for another Bourne movie.]
Producer Frank Marshall began touting the idea of a Damon-Renner pairing in Bourne 5 before Bourne Legacy opened in theaters, even while Damon continued to suggest that he’s doubtful about returning to the Jason Bourne role. However, just because Damon’s involvement has been a possibility for some time, that doesn’t mean Bourne 5 writer Anthony Peckham (Sherlock Holmes) is banking on him being a part of the film; though, Peckham is also probably being careful to not rush together a complete script that features Renner’s character alone – only to face the prospect of having to wedge Damon as Bourne into the proceedings (when/if Universal strikes a deal with Damon).
Greengrass’ return to the Bourne franchise would be more than welcome, all the more so after Tony Gilroy – who’s worked on the scripts for all the Bourne movies released to date – proved less adept as an action director on Bourne Legacy, when compared to Greengrass’ work on Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum. Even director Doug Liman’s first installment in the series, Bourne Identity, feels a bit out of step stylistically with the second and third movies, especially since Greengrass’ guerrilla filmmaking approach (hanheld camerawork, quick and rough edits) has come to define this series… in ways good and bad, admittedly.
Damon’s return as Jason Bourne, though, is more questionable. On the one hand, Bourne 5 could feel more like a proper Bourne film than Bourne Legacy does if… well, it actually features the title character (something that was discussed on a recent episode of the Screen Rant Underground podcast). More so, Damon’s involvement would signal that the script/story is up to scratch, given that the actor’s career is healthy enough so that he doesn’t need to do Bourne 5 even if the premise fails to interest him. On the other hand, it is Cross’ storyline and not Bourne’s that needs resolution – and while this isn’t true for everyone, I personally feel that Renner and his Bourne Legacy costar Rachel Weisz can get by fine without Damon in Bourne 5.
How about it – would you like to see Damon and Greengrass reunite for Bourne 5? Are you excited by the thought of Renner and Damon sharing the screen together?
Bourne 5 has neither an official title, release date, nor even a tentative production start date. As always, we shall keep you posted as more information becomes available.
Source: Twitch Film
Update Source: Variety