Jason Bourne will see Matt Damon reprise his famous role as government assassin-turned rogue agent Jason Bourne for the first time in nine years. The film picks up in real-time after the events of the second and third installments in the Bourne movie franchise (The Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum, respectively) – which, lest we forget, take place nearly at the same time (read: 2004) in the onscreen Bourne universe. There, we find Bourne living on his own and off the grid, when the CIA comes looking for him yet again.
Why, exactly, the CIA is after Bourne in the upcoming film is a question that the Jason Bourne theatrical trailer raises, though the preview goes out of its way to avoid shedding much light on that matter. A newly-released featurette for the film only provides more hints about the movie’s story. Instead, the video focuses on interviews where Damon and director Paul Greengrass discuss how meaningful the Bourne franchise has been to both of their careers/lives and their joy at getting to reunite for a fresh installment in the series.
Greengrass, in the above video, likewise coyly dances around the topic of why the CIA wants Jason Bourne back in this new film, simply noting that “he’s called the hundred million dollar weapon” for a good reason. Damon, for his part, spends a chunk of the video talking about how frequently he’s been asked about the possible return of the Bourne character ever since Bourne Ultimatum was released in theaters – once again emphasizing that he’s more than glad to be back playing the role in a film that he describes as being “a big Jason Bourne movie, bigger than we’ve ever done.”
The Jason Bourne footage unveiled thus far supports Damon’s claim that the film will be “bigger” than any previous Bourne movie. In particular, the film’s Athens-set massive nighttime riot (which was actually filmed in Tenerife) has the potential to become one of the franchise’s standout action sequences and has no doubt been featured heavily in Jason Bourne‘s trailer marketing for that reason. By comparison, Bourne Legacy, the Bourne franchise spinoff (or, as it’s often been called, “side-quel”) that was released in 2012, offered two narrative acts of good dramatic build-up, but culminated with (arguably) a lackluster action-driven third act. So that’s at least one area where Jason Bourne should easily be able to surpass the most recent film that was released with “Bourne” in the title.
Question is, will Jason Bourne – which Greengrass co-wrote with his longtime editor Christopher Rouse based on the screen story that Damon helped develop – offer a compelling Jason Bourne narrative, to go along with its ramped-up action quotient and scale? It certainly has the potential to do so, as Damon has re-iterated multiple times that the post-9/11 mood and political concerns of the original Bourne movie trilogy are being smartly “updated” to reflect present-day concerns about government surveillance, cyber-warfare and the like in the “post-Edward Snowden” world. The Jason Bourne marketing has likewise alluded to this element of the film’s storyline, which appears to involve Bourne receiving previously-unrevealed classified information about his past from his former handler, Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles).
Jason Bourne costar Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) is reportedly playing a cyber-specialist in the movie, so it stands to reason that her character has something to do with how Nicky and Jason uncover new details about the latter’s past. Vikander’s character in the film appears to be working with the CIA, including the veteran agent played by Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), but there may yet be some (hopefully clever) plot twists there that are being carefully preserved by the film’s trailers. That would further explain why Damon and Greengrass are being extra cautious about revealing too much of their hand here too.
Jason Bourne opens in U.S. theaters on July 29th, 2016.
Source: Universal Pictures