Matt Damon on Stepping Away From ‘Bourne’ Franchise

Published 3 years ago by

Matt Damon Bourne 4 Matt Damon on Stepping Away From Bourne Franchise

Matt Damon won’t be beating up any bad guys in the new family-friendly dramedy We Bought a Zoo, but it’s hard to forget Damon’s action hero chops. As the face of the Bourne franchise, Damon helped the popular action trilogy bring in nearly one billion dollars at the box office worldwide.

So why, with all of the franchise’s success, did Damon decide to step away from Bourne Legacy, the fourth entry in the series and how did Universal come to the decision to bring in a new character, played by Jeremy Renner?

As we reported last year, the new film will not be a reboot or direct sequel, but rather a new adventure featuring a different spy set within the established Bourne universe. Damon elaborated on the decision to start fresh and why he wanted to leave the role in a recent interview with GQ Magazine (via MSN).

Quoting the article:

“If you look at the first three movies, we kind of pounded that idea of identity and amnesia into the ground. We really got everything out of it that we could. So to reboot it, we need to come up with something completely new.”

The Bourne series is one of the better action franchises to come out in recent years and part of the reason why is the trilogy’s cohesive plot.  As Damon says though, there’s really only so far you can go with the amnesia storyline. At a certain point, the shadowy CIA conspiracy angle would get a bit ridiculous.

In Hollywood, where most movie stars milk franchises well past their expiration date, it’s actually nice to see an actor leave a franchise on a high note. Damon was great as a super spy, but it will be just as much fun to see how Tony Gilroy brings in a new character and further explore the world of Jason Bourne.

What do you think of Damon’s comments? Could they have made another movie with the amnesia angle or is it a better idea to start fresh?

Source: GQ Magazine (via MSN)

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TAGS: bourne 4, the bourne legacy

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  1. Let it be Tranzor Z. That was the best trilogy by far. Didn’t suffer from sequel sickness at all.

    • WHAT ?????
      What has Mazinger to do with that ????
      Lol

    • Avrather simple answe would be to go back to Ludlam’s original
      Concept where Bourne transcends amnesia and gets a new life but is a college professor who takes on other challenges.

      If Gilroy hadnt thought he was smarter than Ludlam and hadnt killed off Marie,the series like Bond could have continued through
      All the sequels . Being that Marie is a key part of all the Bourne series and like Bond would have withstood characters being replaced and new scenariosf

    • Avrather simple answe would be to go back to Ludlam’s original
      Concept where Bourne transcends amnesia and gets a new life but is a college professor who takes on other challenges.

      If Gilroy hadnt thought he was smarter than Ludlam and hadnt killed off Marie,the series like Bond could have continued through
      All the
      sequels . Being that Marie is a key part of all the Bourne series and like Bond would have withstood characters being replaced and new scenariosf

    • Well Jeremy Renner is a great actor, totally assume in (the town) with Ben Aflac but Matt Damon is Jason Bourne! In my opinion the Bourne movies will never be as good, or as profitable without Matt Damon as Jason Bourne!!l

  2. They could continue with Damon but without Amnesia, a different adventure but with Matt as Bourne.

  3. Actually Matt is contracted to return for another film. It may not be now, but Jason Bourne will return. I think they could easily continue on without the boundaries of amnesia, and do what the later books did in only using the memories casually. I think that they should do two total films with Renner, then have Damon come back and do two final films. I know 7 is an odd number for a franchise to consist of but whatever. It’s just my opinion.

    • He it goes. I like that idea. Renner is as good as Damon but it really sucks to not see Damon again. Do two with Renner, then Damon comes back with Stiles. We can’t forget Nick Parsons either. I think when she went rogue in Morroco with Jason, the agency would be after her as well. When she was in NY and heard about the whereabouts of Jason or David Webb, that smurk on her face gives a lot more possibilities to come. Maybe they could bring Damon, Renner, and Stiles as well in subsequent Bourne sequels, for lack of a better term!! That is my 2-cent contribution!

  4. Its gonna be weird without him so I definitely want to see him again as Bourne

  5. I LOVE the Bourne trilogy. I agree with Matt Damon that something fresh could be explored. Although a good writer might be able to pull off something believable coupled with Damon’s great acting skill.

  6. Jeremy Brenner is a hell of an actor, so I really don’t have a problem with this concept as long as its the same caliber with the trilogy

  7. I really don’t see any reason to make a Bourne movie without Matt Damon.

  8. i agree, he left on a very high note. the bourne trilogy is the best action movies out there and he’ll be remembered for it. but he the type that likes to do different character and explore different things

    and i find it funny how they mention it wasn’t a reboot, but in the quote it said “So to reboot it….”

    erm, it is a reboot then, but not with jason bourne. i just hope they don’t mess up the franchise

  9. I think it’s a cop out on Damon’s part. The amnesia is why the story takes place, but it was by no means over used, we as fans enjoyed Jason Bourne’s search for the truth we rooted for him to get the information and to find every person involved. Then we would have liked to see him live his life as David Webb and what would be next for him. There were many stories they could have told, if Matt was willing to work with them. I saw Jason Bourne as a more bad ass version of James Bond and would have love to see Matt Damon make as many “Bourne” films as he possibly could.

  10. Gonna be different with out Damon but I think Jeremy renner would be a good replacement

  11. Wasn`t there talk about Renner taking over the Mission:Impossible-franchise, since he is in pat 4 now.

    Then we have 2 very similar franchises with the same actor, that would be a little odd.

  12. atleast Tom Cruise is staying with Mission Impossible. But a Bourne film w/o Damon will suck. I say do this film then have them go at it in the 5th and final film.

  13. They wrapped up the trilogy & the amnesia premise nicely in the third movie (tho the whole relationship with Julia Stiles was weird). I don’t see the need for another.

  14. As everyone knows by now Matt Damon has done 2 things:

    Trashed the script for Bourne 4.

    Admitted “We Bought a Zoo” is a terrible title for a movie.

    If Damon did a 4th I would like to see him search out his past as David Webb and expand on the storyline hinted at in Ultimatum where “Nicky” (Julia Stiles) and “Bourne” have a history…. like what Chris already pointed out.

  15. I think if Matt looked at the Ludlum source material he would find MORE to do with the character

  16. To be honest I think the Bourne trilogy was complete and perfect as it was and really doesn’t need another installment. In fact it’s ironic that Damon is saying he wants away – when he could do with another box office hit adly and Bourne is his only surefire way of getting it. He need only look to Tom Cruise in Ghost Protocol as an example.

  17. Good for you matt! I agree the amnesia bit was been beaten to death. You dont need Matt Damon in the roll to make a new movie. He has done three great movies (i liked all three movies)and wants to move on, nothing wrong with that. Will i watch a new Bourne movie? Sure i will, Jeremy Renner is an up and coming hot property, so the movie should do well enough.

  18. the idea of damon leaving b4 the franchise “expires” is good. because some actors realy do abuse of the success of one movie to keep goin forever with a franchise.
    even though i agree with damon, it’s still sad to know that bourn won’t be around anymore.

  19. I am torn between wanting a good thing to go but – but understand Matt Damins reasons. It may ruin a great trilogy to keep it going.
    Don’t know about the future movie? Could be new Star Wars all over again!!

  20. I’m glad Matt is leaving the franchise on a high note as far as Legacy is concerned I’m only renting it on dvd.

  21. Then why call it the Bourne anything. I hate it when they have prequels or sequels and the original actor isn’t in the movie. Why turn your back on the film that made you famous.

  22. .thanks Matt for 3 fantastic Bourne films u played the part fantastic but I have a feeling will see u again as Bourne for 2 reasons 1 the history with Bourne and nicki also the people who have read the books know there is a character khan sum how I think it’s Bourne and nicki child or am I being ott lol anyway no matter the story line it would b great 2 see the real Bourne again

  23. Not worth seeing with matt damon

  24. I agree/disagree, hes right they wouldnt be able to keep milking it. But in every movie out there most main roles get what they want or get away its predictable in all movies. As the name says bourne legacy use that name legacy to end the series, and have Bourne get caught. A complete twist utter ahh just imagine (he has amnesia finds out himself his girlfriend and everything, legacy comes along they’ve found him hes successfully getting away looks like he does to and the twist hes caught, but will he still be with his girlfriend or will she die?) Complete new ending never happens in any movies.

  25. It won’t be the same without Matt. I think it will be a failure!

  26. I was really looking forward to seeing Matt Damon do ALL of the Bourne movies! Even though Jeremy Renner I’m sure has done a fine job, I really, really like Matt Damon for the role as Jason Bourne/David Webb! If Jeremy Renner had been the one to start the franchise then I believe I would want him to be the one to continue in the staring role. There are many creative ways to continue the story without overdoing the amnesia angle and also even though they killed off Marie, that too can be dealt with creatively, as others have already suggested. I really hate when they change the main character! Just doesn’t sit right with me!! I’m sure I’ll watch Bourne Legacy but it won’t be the same. There are some movies I will not watch at all because they changed the main characters…Battlestar Galactica is one of them. They changed the male stars i.e. Starbuck, Boomer and Apolo into females!!! I absoultly HATE when they do something like that!!! I’m not sexist either. I would do the same thing if they took Lara Croft and made her into a man!!! You just don’t mess with things like that! But I digress.

  27. I really liked Matt Damon in the first three movies. I read the books and thought Matt was perfect. I understand his position but I will not go see Bourne legacy.

  28. When did Hollywood begin caring about logic? Amnesia – ironically, no one remembers the base cause. Bring Damon back

  29. When did Hollywood begin caring about logic? Amnesia – ironically, no one remembers the base cause. Bring Damon back.