Next ‘Bourne’ To Be A Prequel Without Matt Damon? [Updated]

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 4th, 2014 at 10:09 am,

bourne1 Next Bourne To Be A Prequel Without Matt Damon? [Updated]

[UPDATE: It appears Matt Damon jumped the gun. See bottom of post for details]

For a good long while now we’ve heard word that Bourne 4 hasn’t been progressing as smoothly as a project of that status should. Not one but TWO Bourne 4 scripts have reportedly been written parallel to one another, one by George Nolfi (writer of The Bourne Ultimatum and another Matt Damon project, The Adjustment Bureau) and one by Josh Zetumer. We’ve not known whether Universal wants to choose between the two or simply merge them into one film (the latter would be really difficult to do successfully).

To add to the problems we heard last year that Supremacy and Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass had walked away from the project, which was a bad sign for fans of the franchise since Jason Bourne himself, Matt Damon, said he wouldn’t do another without Greengrass. There’s still a chance Universal could get those two key players back in time for the aimed fall 2010 shooting start date but it’s not looking likely.

Now we have word of a possible Bourne prequel in the works, which would feature a new actor portraying super-spy Jason Bourne and a new director behind the camera. This comes from Empire when they talked to Damon on the red carpet for the premiere of his latest film, Invictus. It’s not any sort of official announcement but certainly a shocking revelation if it turns out to be true:

“There’ll probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we do another one… just because I think we’re probably another five years away from doing it – we’ve got to get a script…”

Of course, with a word like “probably” being used this could be pure speculation on Damon’s part. But he’s certainly one of the key players who’d have an idea about that sort of thing. If true, does this prequel mean a reboot (dun dun dun!) of the Bourne franchise? Well, even if I’m sure most fans of the franchise would wish that not to be true, I can definitely see the appeal for Universal to go that route. With the trouble the studio has been having with the story and script (Damon even said if you’ve got any ideas you should contact Universal about it!), and the additional trouble of Greengrass walking away,  rebooting the franchise could be a smart move money-wise.

jason bourne Next Bourne To Be A Prequel Without Matt Damon? [Updated]
Could we see a Bourne movie without Damon?

Empire actually throws in a positive side to this by saying that a prequel would give us a chance to see Bourne in action before he was on the run (with his memory intact) and see what he got up to before the first three movies. Once we have that story out of the way we might (as Damon says in the quote above) get another Bourne with Damon back as the character. Although, I’m sure a lot of you would just rather see the continuation going forward with Damon in the role. And I’d be right with you on that one.

Of course if this thing has any truth to it then we need to start looking at who could fill Damon’s shoes as Bourne (a tough task indeed). I’m sure Sam Worthington’s name will be brought up, as it always is nowadays when a high profile role comes along. It depends on how far back a prequel would go (Worthington is six years younger than Damon) – I just hope it isn’t back to his teenage years and we hear Taylor Lautner’s name brought up. God forbid…

Let me just reiterate that this isn’t AT ALL confirmation of a Bourne prequel and was rather just something that may or may not have been an off-the-cuff remark by Damon on the red carpet. Still, it’s always great to speculate on these sorts of things so what do you think: Will there be a prequel before we see another Bourne with Damon in the lead role and would you be interesting in seeing it? Would it be a smart idea for Universal money-wise?

UPDATE: EW is reporting that talk of a Bourne prequel is premature and what Matt Damon said above is just pure speculation. Insiders told EW that Universal is currently looking at several different stories for the next Bourne but the studio hasn’t made a decision yet.

One insider said that in the wake of Paul Greengrass leaving the project the studio might go for try to hire an edgy young director to lure Damon back to the franchise (he has said before he won’t do another without Greengrass). But should any of that not work then a reboot, “wouldn’t be a terrible idea.”

Said one insider – “Bourne is one of our best and most important franchises. Whatever we do, we’re going to make sure we get it right.”

Source: Empire (hat tip to First Showing) and EW

TAGS: Bourne 4
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  2. Damon is the perfect Bourne but I guess it would save money for the budget. I like the idea of a prequel though.

  3. Wow. I really hope this isn't true. Bourne without Damon is the stupidest idea since they released Meet The Spartans.

    IF this is going to be true I am sure it'll be Direct-to-DVD because I can't really see it making much money in theaters. Mainly because of Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass not being a part of it.

    Studios now a day are stupid as hell. All they care about is money now. This whole thing somewhat parallels the whole Spider-Man fiasco. $$$$ is all that matters now, not a good quality movie.

  4. To be entirely honest, as a huge fan of the books, I was never sold on Damon as Bourne.
    Admittedly the the first two films were great fun, I wasnt a huge fan of the third installment at all, Greengrass directly style can be a tad too frantic and unfocused.

    I think a prequel is a bad idea, but there is no reason a sequel couldnt be made using the quite decent follow on novels by Erik Van Lustbader, Why cant Bourne be like Bond and regenerate when the actor doesnt want to continue?

  5. I rather enjoy Damon as Bourne. It took a while for me to be convinced that Damon could be a legitimate “hero” and all around badass, but if there's any truth to the 5 year comment, that would put Damon at 45 years old. While that's not to old, isn't the Bourne character much younger? And if there's any truth to another actor/director, wouldn't it be strange to see them do one or two Bourne movies followed up by Damon reprising his role? Not only confusing, but just kind of silly.

  6. Gotta agree on Bourne without Matt is dumb. I never thought it would work well when I first heard the idea of him as a hero like that, but it worked very well and I thought he was a badass in the first one. A Bourne without Matt is one I wont see.

  7. No Damon would mean a failure in the theaters.

  8. As much as I'd love another one, if both Damon and Greengrass are out, then this movie should never get made. We don't need a fourth, and, IMO, the Bourne films are a near-perfect trilogy. Let's leave it on a high note.

  9. no damon,no Bourne.
    i refuse to admit a movie without damon as a Bourne movie.

  10. it would be pretty cool if they did a prequel consisting of bourne prior to his memory issues, but like everyone else said without damon there isnt really much appeal, maybe if ryan reynolds stared as bourne there might be a chance 😉

  11. The first movie was wonderful & the second and third are two of the best movies I couldn't see. The shakey cam in those two films had my wife burying her face in my shoulder the entire time & me walking out with a screaming headache. The camera work ruined this trilogy. The Bourne Identity is the only one I will watch. I'm all for more, as long as they stop handing the camera to an epileptic monkey on speed sitting in a shopping cart with 3 bad wheels careening down a hill.

    Here's a piece of advice to any film maker: A stationary scene where people are sitting around a conference table and talking should NOT give me motion sickness.

  12. Who directed the first film? Maybe they could bring him in.

  13. I would not watch a Bourne without Damon, as I really feel he made the character what it is.

  14. I read the trilogy years ago. Twice.
    The movies took such liberty with the plot that one could easily redo this from scratch the right way, following the story in the books.

    Damon was acceptable in the first movie, as long as I forgot that this wasnt really the Bourne story I already knew in my head, and as long as i forgot that Bourne was a non-descript middle aged man who mastered the art of being a chameleon and not a short square headed “kid” walking boldly and unblinkingly into every obvious dangerous situation.
    The fighting sequences in the first one were quite good. But the ones with Greengrass and his shaky camera bs made me turn off the second one about half way through. Horrible camera work when the first movie was done so well in that regards.

    I hope if anything is done at all, that it's redone properly, from scratch and using people who fit the descriptions in the books.

  15. Damon and Greengrass have protected the integrity of the character. Without them it will degenerate very quickly into a half-a**ed Bond clone.

  16. No clue what you're talking about. Camera work didn't bother my 16 year old sister who watched all the movies. Maybe have a stomach and tell your wife it's not a horror movie.

  17. I definitely agree. Having read Ludlum's Bourne series and his succesor's efforts there's no reason movies couldn't continue to be based on the existing books. If memory serves, Bourne from the first 3 novels is older than Matt Damon was when filming them. In The Bourne Legacy, Jason is at least 50 years old. If Harrison Ford can still swing on a rope Matt Damon can continue throat-punching a few more goons. Over and out.

  18. My wife wasn't afraid. Heck, she grew up on horror movies. They're one of her favorite genres. The camera work made her sick. The most you could see in the big car chase in the second movie was the roof & floor of the inside of the car, for crying out loud. I'm not alone in this. I don't know anyone who can watch the second Bourne film. The third isn't quite as bad, but it's still nearly unwatchable. At least in my opinion as well as the opinions of virtually everyone I know. I have a friend who still hasn't completely forgiven me for buying him the second movie for Christmas when it hit DVD.

    Shaky cam is fine in small doses, but when it's used throughout the movie & to such a degree that the viewer often has to concentrate just to see what is going on, that's either laziness or idiocy on the director's part. I can forgive it as bad judgement in one film, but twice in a row?

    Another great example is Cloverfield. Sure, they had a story reason for it to be filmed that way, but it still took away from the experience. I warned a friend about it before he went, knowing that he shares my view of shaky cam & he went anyway. He spent the better part of the movie with his head between his legs, trying not to look at the screen for fear that he'd puke on the floor.

    Sure, it won't effect everyone this way. I'm glad for you that you have no problems. I could tell that behind that steaming heap of rotten cinematography there was a good movie. You tell me to have a stomache & completely misunderstand, assuming my wife was scared. Thsi tells me that you like the movie enough to defend it by calling out my intestinal fortitude & that your reading comprehension may need a little work. Let me give you a chance to respond in a way that doesn't come accross as an attempt to insult me. Answer this. Do you think the camera work helps the viewer's experience or do you think the films would be just as good with steady, quality camera work and perhaps only a judicious hint of shaky cam, where appropriate?

    I'd wager that the worst thing that would come from ditching the shaky cam would be more seats filled in the theater. I know that's the only way they'll get me (and many others) back.

    Like I said in my initial post, the second & third Bourne films are two of the best movies I couldn't see. In other words, I like them. Or at least, I want to. I suppose I can't really be sure because they seemed to have just a terribly difficult time keeping the camera on anything that was actually going on.

  19. thesaurusrs, you should read the books. Neither the characters or the blinding whizzing action sequences were true to the integrity of the story in the books.

    The guy who directed the first Bourne movie knew at least how to do fight scenes well so that we could actually see them. Greengrass thinks that if he just blurs everything that he's doing action takes. Ugggg.

  20. I'm sorry but I will not see another Jason Bourne movie without Matt Damon period. I enjoyed all 3 movies and want to see what the whole story is between Bourne and Nicky Parsons, considering that in the books Jason is married to Marie, who was killed off in Bourne Supremacy which made little sense to me. I also have no desire to see a “prequel” to the Bourne series. Therefore I want Bourne 4 with Matt Damon. I mean Jason Bourne without Damon is like Mad Max without Mel Gibson neither of which I will see.

  21. Telling you to get a stomach is not an insult and wasn't meant to come off that way. I honestly mean you need a stomach to be able to handle the camera action if it bothers you.

    My reading comprehension does not need work, thank you.

    You may need some education in film if you would actually compare the camera work in the Bourne movies to Cloverfield. They were two totally different styles of film making. Cloverfield was hand-held and for a reason. JJ wanted the movie to be presented that way even though I feel it would have been 1000 times better if they did NOT go in that direction. I can understand how it bothered people because it was annoying and stupid imo but not sure how some people just couldn't look at the screen. I just think it was an excuse to not go big on special effects and save money by not having to show the creature much and constantly having only one point of view (whoever was holding the camera). Cloverfield is another issue all together.

    The Bourne movies had a shaky cam in only a few scenes and they were not anything to get sick over. It can hardly be called shaky cam imo. It's a style that is used in many movies for action scenes. To let something like this affect your viewing of the movie is a shame.

    You asked this question of me: “Do you think the camera work helps the viewer's experience or do you think the films would be just as good with steady, quality camera work and perhaps only a judicious hint of shaky cam, where appropriate?”

    I think the movies would have been just as good without the wild camera during action scenes. I don't think it added anything spectacular like maybe the director thinks but it didn't bother me like you mentioned. I think maybe you are trying to focus on it too much maybe. I'm not really sure but I'm trying to find a way that you can have the chance to watch the movies. The Bourne series is awesome in my opinion and you should give them the chance bad camera work or not.

    peace out!

  22. Sorry if I took your initial comments as being more snarky than you meant them.

    I don't know that I agree with your assessment that the shaky cam is only used in the action scenes, though. I think we can both agree that I think it's a bit over the top, especially in the action scenes. But I find it distracting how much the camera doesn't stop moving, even in scenes where people are sitting down & talking to one another. Now, I'm okay with the occasional use of the technique. I understand that it can be a great way to make the viewer feel like they're a part of the action, etc. but when all of the characters are sitting around a table and the camera still never stops moving? Sure, it's not as shake-tastic as the fighting scenes but it still never stops.

    How is that supposed to add to my enjoyment of the scene? Is it that I'm intended to feel like I'm in the room, looking from person to person? If so, they must feel that something is terribly wrong with my equilibrium. That or they think I'm drunk. Unless they're trying to make the audience see the scene from the point of view of a bobblehead doll, it's not achieving any positive goal.

    I have not problem with shaky cam itself. It's just overused in Supremacy & Ultimatum. And used poorly, at that. I've seen Supremacy twice, once in the theater & Ultimatum once in the theater. I can tell that there's a good movie in there & they don't make me nauseous. That's my wife. And about 3 or 4 other people I know. I just get a raging headache & find that I have to concentrate really hard to actually see what is going on during the action sequences. Most of the time I can tell that what I'm watching is a really well choreographed chase or fight & find myself wishing I could have actually seen it clearly. I just feel that the camera work muddies the entire experience & does a disservice to great writing, acting and action.

    I only focus so much on the camera work now because, for me, it detracts from everything else so much that it ruins the experience. I love The Bourne Identity & when I found out that they were making a sequel I was ecstatic. Supremacy was my most anticipated film that year. I saw the making-of stuff on TV & they talked about how they were doing the camera work & I was actually excited for it. I walked into the movie with no negative preconceptions about the camera. No tainted view. Then I sat down in the theater & watched the movie. It's the last movie that I can remember having really high hopes for and it wasn't just the camera work that let me down. It was that I could tell that the movie was everything I'd hoped it would be. I had everything I wanted in that film dangled in front of me & the cinematography was so horrid that it felt like a cruel slap in the face.

    Shaky cam isn't a bad thing. Bad shaky cam and its overuse is.

    I trumpet about how I know many people who fell the same as me, however I do know just as many who have no problems. It makes me happy to see that, while the shaky cam doesn't bother you, you don't feel that it's integral to the experience. That gives me a small glimmer of hope. Hope that whoever does helm the next film, Damon or no Damon, will realize that the way they've been using shaky cam is doing nothing beneficial and switching to more traditional camera work could actually improve the viewing experience for some and even get a few more people into the theater.

  23. Why do we need to see a rebooted version of Jason Bourne? Is it that hard to come up with a decent storyline for a fourth movie? Your telling me no writer out there has a story that is usable as a fourth movie and that in fact its going to be easier to just start over?


  24. After Indiana Jones 4, I don't need to see Harrison trying to knock anyone out. Don't get me wrong I actually like Crystal Skull (yes I'm a weirdo), but Harrison, Sylvester, and Bruce please stop……..

  25. No doubt we will be hearing the line – “I'm getting too old for this s**t” – for many years to come…

  26. A Bourne without Damon is like a Rocky without Sylvester or a Die hard without Bruce Mabe they should do a Leathal Wepon without Mel. I would never see a bourn emovie without Matt Damon and i might be so upset about it i would consider starting protests outside any theater it was playing at.
    the filmiswould likly be wors than my spelling and punctuatoin.

  27. A Bourne without Damon is like a Rocky without Sylvester or a Die hard without Bruce Mabe they should do a Leathal Wepon without Mel. I would never see a bourn emovie without Matt Damon and i might be so upset about it i would consider starting protests outside any theater it was playing at.
    the filmiswould likly be wors than my spelling and punctuatoin.

  28. Definitely not going to watch any Bourne movie without Matt Damon. It would flop. It’s a horrible idea.