Before Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass returned to the Bourne franchise for this summer’s Jason Bourne, Universal attempted to continue the series another way with the spinoff The Bourne Legacy. Starring Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross, the film couldn’t match the original trilogy in terms of critical or commercial reception, making just $113.2 million domestically. Still, it grossed $276.1 million globally and has its fair share of fans. A sequel was planned, but got pushed aside to make way for Jason Bourne.
These days, the cinematic shared universe is all the rage, and studios are always looking for ways to expand their most lucrative properties. Ever since Renner became a part of the Bourne world, many have been interested in seeing him join forces with Damon’s Jason Bourne. It hasn’t happened yet, and it will most likely depend on the performance of Jason Bourne before Universal moves in one way or another. There’s a lot of potential in a crossover, but one member of the Bourne creative team would rather see the two remain separate.
Jason Bourne composer John Powell was in attendance at the Musical Anatomy of a Superhero panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2016. While speaking with Screen Rant at a roundtable discussion after the event, he offered his thoughts on a possible team-up between Renner and Damon, explaining why it would be against the nature of the characters:
“It doesn’t help either character. It would be contrived. They’re both characters that it’s about their loneliness in their situation. If you start teaming people up, you end up with the idea that ‘if we had more power we would succeed,’ which is not the answer to anything. I find much more interesting the idea of a hero being a singular idea so that the audience can identify with them and the hero’s problems can be an allegory for my problems. It would be strange.”
Powell’s response may not be what viewers want to hear, but it is an interesting thought. He has a point in saying that one of the defining themes of the franchise is pitting the protagonist in a “me against the world” situation where they have to rely on their own resourcefulness and training in order to survive. While Bourne has had help in the past from people such as Nicky Parsons and Pamela Landy, he does largely work alone. Seeing him have to go on a mission with someone could be a fun new wrinkle for the franchise to explore, it would have to fit naturally into the story the filmmakers are telling. And it’s important to keep in mind that Bourne is a man of very little words; the character has only 25 lines in the new film, and Damon shares scenes with other actors. Teaming him up with someone else might go against what makes the character such a favorite.
Another aspect to consider is that Damon’s time with the franchise appears to be winding down. Jason Bourne has been teased as a completion of the super spy’s journey, and the star is unsure if he can continue meeting the physical demands of the part as he gets older. Damon and Greengrass haven’t completely shut the door on coming back again, but from the sound of it they’re looking ahead to other projects following the completion of Jason Bourne. If Aaron Cross ever does meet another agent, it will most likely have to be the rebooted/recast Bourne that Damon is convinced will come about eventually. That’s disappointing for longtime fans, but as long as all the movies are of high quality, that’s what matters.
Jason Bourne opens in U.S. theaters July 29, 2016.