Matt Damon on Nolan’s ‘Bourne’ Movie Story Attempt & Whether He’ll Return

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Matt Damon Interview Jason Bourne 5 Elysium Promised Land Matt Damon on Nolans Bourne Movie Story Attempt & Whether Hell Return

We’re about to see a lot of Matt Damon doing what he does best on the big screen. He returns this week in Promised Land, a heartfelt drama that he co-wrote with his new writing buddy, John Krasinki (The Office).

At the recent press junket for the film, we had a chance to put the Jason Bourne rumor mill to rest and ask Matt the inevitable question – will he be reprising his Bourne role anytime soon?

Granted, the actor has always remained (somewhat) optimistic that he would eventually return to the Bourne franchise one day with director Paul Greengrass, who helmed The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. Franchise writer Tony Gilroy wore the director’s hat for the spin-off film, The Bourne Legacy, creating a new character, Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner (Matt’s good pal), and setting up a story which overlapped with the events of the Ultimatum.

Damon has been asked about his Bourne return many times, and his answer can vary depending on the time and place. To us he said:

I’d love to, I really want to do another Bourne movie but we just can’t figure out the story. The studio had made a deal with the estate to make another film and so they weren’t in breach of their contract, they had to get a Jason Bourne movie out for 2012.  And that’s when Tony came up with the idea of how to do one with Jeremy.

I’ve talked to Paul about this, and it’s really just a question of how do you bring the character back? Is there a movie that’s as good as the other three that we did – and if we felt like there was, then we’d do it, but we just haven’t cracked it yet.

Well, the fact that he says ‘yet’ implies he’s not nixing the idea.

Jonthan Nolan Jason Bourne 4 and 5 Matt Damon on Nolans Bourne Movie Story Attempt & Whether Hell Return

Matt says he even explored other creative avenues – most notably Chrisptopher Nolan’s brother:

I gave it to Jonah Nolan who did such a beautiful job with the Batman mythology – I mean along with Chris. I met with him and I said: “Would you take a look at this, because we really want to do it?

Jonah was great. He took like a month and really worked on it. He came back and said: “I can’t figure out how to do it.” He told me: “You guys really ended it, you know,” which we did. We had intended it to be a trilogy and he gets out at the end.

Jason hasn’t been seen since 2004, so if we started writing a movie next year, we probably couldn’t get one out by 2014 and that would have been ten years since the CIA has completely lost track of him. So what has the character been up to all this time?”

There’s no denying that at 42, Damon is still in top shape – but does he feel that his action hero status has an expiration date? (Well, not if Stallone is anything to go by…). He laughed at the notion: “Easy now….”

He showed up to the interview at the Four Seasons Hotel newly shorn after being called back for reshoots on director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) new sci-fi thriller, Elysium, which is coming in summer 2013.  Funnily enough, he had to break the news that he was bald to Terry Gilliam (Twelve Monkeys) who had also called him in for reshoots on The Zero Theorem, their head-trip of a film slated for a 2013 release.

Terry Gilliam 1884 movie Matt Damon on Nolans Bourne Movie Story Attempt & Whether Hell Return

Damon explained: “I had to call Terry and tell him that I was bald, which threw a wrench in our plans. So Terry was like, “Oh, interesting you’re bald. Okay, let’s like wet shave your head all the way down and give you a wig so you have a total receding hairline and we’ll just completely change the way you look.” So, there you have it, I was shorn again.”

For now the future of the Bourne franchise is uncertain (Legacy wasn’t exactly a scorching-hot hit with either fans or the box office), but there is one thing that is certain: most fans absolutely want to see Matt Damon’s leading the franchise once again. The right story is no doubt out there – but will the filmmakers find it?

Only time will tell.

Until then you can catch Matt Damon in Elysium on August 9, 2013.

…And in The Zero Theorem at some point in 2013.

Promised Land will be in theaters in limited release on December 28, 2012; wide release on January 4, 2013.


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  1. wow 42? had no idea he was actually in the 40 plus club. glad to hear he’s still optimistic about another Bourne movie – i love them.

    • Same here,after i saw him recently i thought he was nearly 50 ! He is getting old and fat ! Anyways,I like him !

    • Same dude

  2. How do we know the right story is out there?
    It has be about more than bringing him back and it cant just be a swan song for Bourne .

  3. I want to see Renner and Damon team up in the next movie. Renner was so cool!!

  4. Definitely yes, but let Renner/Cross has his storyline work out first and then let Renner and Damon tangle down. Work it out, lads!

    • I’m with you guys I want Renner and Damon to come back together and team up and I want Greengrass to direct because he to me was the best director the franchise has had Audi think he wold work really well with Renner and we all know he works pretty well with Damon. Personally my favorite Bourne movie is Ultimatum hands down I watch that over and over again, I think one of the best things about the Bourne franchise is that it has unbelievable action in it but at the same time it hashuman characters with a somewhat relatable storyline and really really good acting I really like Noah Vossen he’s my favorite villain in the whole franchise,I was bummed that I didn’t get to see him that much in legacy same with Pamela Landy I love her character to and I was bummed that I didn’t get to see her that much either.
      Here’s what I think about Bourne 5 though, if they make it I want it to be the last in the franchise I’m not sure how likely that is but I think going for 6 movies is really pushing it at least for this franchise. Here’s how I would go about bringing Bourne back, I noticed in Legacy someone said that police were still looking for Bourne I think I would go for Jason going into hiding in the streets and to make things interesting I would make him unaware of Landy’s ailing attempts to bring down the organizations and then Cross here’s about Bourne and may go looking for him to find help when they meet though Aaron tells him everything that there are more organizations some worse that treadtone and they are failing to bring them down and at first Jason doesn’t believe him because he wants to believe that it’s all over but he has to work to accept that it’s not. Maybe I would kill off Rachel Weisz character like Marrie in Supremacy and that would be why he goes looking for Jason because he wants to take it all down and nobody has more bad tidings with these people other than Bourne, but when he tells Jason about the organizations and he doesn’t believe him he probably would get angry at him and not put that much trust into him because he is angry at him so Aaron may end up tearing through the globe with Jason and Aaron may be taking his anger out on all of the assets and I mean really taking it out on all of them, he’d be beating them strangling them and yelling at them because of what they did to Rachel’s character (forgive me I forget the characters name) and Jason would try and calm him down but Aaron would push him off because he doesn’t like him or trust him. But in the end the two may be so different but in the end they are all they have and they need to just accept that there are things they will disagree on and trust each other. They would both have to learn how to accept things in life Aaron would have to learn how to accept his lovers death and Jason would have to learn how to accept the fact that his fight isn’t over accepting anything in life can be hard for some people I think it makes it realistic in some ways. And also in this story I would show more Vossen just because I like him a lot but also because now two former assets are teaming up and he is gonna go all out I would make him send some of the toughest assets from the toughest organizations out there and send them all in after the two I wouldn’t make it just treadstone or outcome agents I would make them from everywhere and to make things more fun I would bring back Byer (Ed Norton’s character) and make him do the same as Vossen but I’d make it a little different from Vossen I’d make Byer send assets from all over the place but I’d also make him do some coordinating with some major crime organizations in the places Aaron and Jason are n the world to try and bring them down, and I would make Byer and Vossen’s assets run into each other during their missions and fight each other and by fight I mean kill each other because they don’t understand why the other person is there trying to kill them and they’d think that they were somehow interfeering with their mission, I also think it would be enterianily ironic to watch because Aaron and Jason would be suffering from a similar trust and communication issue that Byer and Vossen are in (maybe its more communication than trust) but the point is that one pair shows what a lack of communication can do to yo and the other realizes they need to communicate through them. Of course I would bring Landy back (Joan Allen’s character) but I think I may kill the character off because she could be caught helping Aaron and Jason (keep in mind Jason would trust her more than Aaron because she helped Jason but Aaron may be angry at her for not getting them organizations shut down) but if I was kill her off I would just make it, “oh yeah a bullet to the head” I’d make it different because I like her character a lot I’d make maybe a hit man from the mob push her off a building or something if Vossen or Byer did it that would be cool but they’d have to cover up their tacks and all. I think a great fight scene would be on a bridge like George Washingotn or golden gate or Williamsburg and a handful of Assasins located Cross and Bourne and began attacking and cars would crash into each other and everyone would panting but mayepbe that’d be a little too much now that I write about it it doesn’t sound all that great, ah well. So here’s how I would do Bourne 5, what do you guys think about it how would you do it.

      • That all just looks like word soup to me.

  5. As Legacy demonstrated, Universal doesn’t have a clue how to manage a class franchise like Bourne. They should be kissing Damon’s feet.

    • Yeah I know. Why didn’t they just make The Bourne Legacy with Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. The Bourne Legacy is the fourth novel in the Bourne Series, it was written by Eric Lustbanner (last name spelling, my bad). The Bourne Legacy novel had Jason Bourne in it, it takes place after Ultimatum. Instead Tony Gilroy and Renner kind of messed up the franchise, but the action in the Bourne Legacy saved the movie. They can make the Bourne Betrayal telling that David Webb (Jason Bourne) is trying to get his normal life back but a CIA agent goes after him and more things happen. There’s ten bourne books in total.

  6. Mmmm ! Aaahh ! Jonathan Nolan & Bourne together…….that will be nice

  7. If neither Jonah Nolan nor anyone else can think of how to continue Jason Bourne’s story, then maybe all involved should take the hint and leave it as is, they made one of the best action sagas in recent memory, let it go lads, let it go… gracefully with it’s reputation and integrity intact!

    I would rather see Kiefer Sutherland reprise his signature role of Jack Bauer on the big screen in the much-delayed ’24′ movie; the script is finished, it’s ready to go, just as soon as FOX give it the greenlight and the $45m budget that Sutherland and producer Brian Grazer are wanting to do it right…

    • “gracefully with its reputation and integrity intact” is how you want Bourne to stay dead, yet you await another 24 story? How ironic! I see your point, and would prefer no new stories to weak new stories, sure, but don’t you think 24 peaked way before it ended? I’d say probably the third season was the highlight, and the show just went steadily downhill from there. Why in the world they hired the Chloe actress, much less kept her and gave her an increasingly prominent role is baffling. She’s boring, 2d and sour faced at every turn. Her husband character was vastly more interesting, and they only used him in the Samwise-is-boss season. (fifth?). The first pres and his bro were interesting, but none of the others were that compelling, and they copped out on some of the bold ideas for the none-too-innocent lady President. Tony Almieda had a real shot at coming back strong, and I think they blew it. Whereas having Jack be a scar-covered junky running to Mexico with the best villain of the series and a compelling partner was almost enough to make me forget about that awful awful daughter of his. Letting the Chinese guy keep our hero was really unsettling, too. Highlights like Ricky Schroeder and the tragically brief storyline with Enterprise’s engineer were fun, and that old guy who wanted his daughter to choke him to fpdeath was fun, but the story got more soap opera and fake with Starbuck from Galactica and Jacks ongoing devotion to the sour faced CTU girl taking focus from better ideas. If the movie looks good, then I am into it, but that show would have been stronger if they hadn’t milked it so hard and gotten complacent. Much like Fringe, there is clearly no strong plan for the show, just a lot of twists that come out of the blue and keep the story going. At its best, 24 could wrap up nearly every loose end midway through a season, leaving you wondering what in the world the next half of the show would be about. Good times.

      • I get where you’re coming from Josh, but I respectfully disagree with your assessment of ’24′, I think it had a remarkably high quality benchmark throughout it’s nine-year run, granted Season 6 was a low point for the show (as it’s producers have openly admitted), but they came back in fine fashion and stayed in strong form through to the end. I’d love to see a SINGLE ’24′ movie that serves as an epilogue, an extended coda for Jack Bauer, a film that gives the iconic character a proper and fitting send off, whether it be a happy, a bittersweet, a sad, or indeed even a deliberately open ending (my preference), but a definitive ending nonetheless.

        The Bourne trilogy is different to the ’24′ franchise, the former was designed as a trilogy (three books, three movies) from the outset, whilst the latter is an ongoing piece of serial fiction with no predetermined structure or outcome. I just believe that ‘…Ultimatum’ ended the lead character’s story the way it should have ended, coming full circle to when we first met him and giving him the answers he wanted, what else is there left to say…?

  8. Damon is horrible as Jason Bourne. I’m glad they aren’t rushing ahead to make more films with him

    • Kinda makes me wonder why you would read this article… Need more stuff to hate? You ever hear of Twilight? Go check it out! More people need to hate that.

      • I liked the books and the original adaptation, the miniseries.

  9. And what exactly does he do “best”? Promised Land looks like another failed attempt from Matt Damon to be politically and socially relevant

    • Yes. No feeling him anymore.

  10. I can’t be the only one who thinks this ongoing story about another Bourne movie is playing out like Indiana Jones did in the late 80′s…
    Fans wanted another but Ford, Lucas and Spielberg kept saying almost the exact same things that Damon is saying now. I just pray that Damon doesn’t end up giving in 15yrs from now and we get a terrible 4th movie attached to a formerly great series.

  11. I think Aaron Cross should be the plot of the next Bourne – then after that the sixth one should be about Bourne, or Cross AND Bourne, that’d be badass!

  12. I think they should totally do another Bourne movie. The Bourne Legacy was kinda stupid and disappointed me. It wasn’t BAD, but it wasn’t good. The original trilogy was about a conspiracy and a web of lies and intrigue. Legacy was “I WANT MY DRUGS, I NEED A FIX!” It was about chasing after pills. The action sequences saved the movie, and Renner was amazing as Cross. He has so much potential. While they were chasing the pills, Edward Norton as Byer, though it seemed he played a good “We are justified in what we do” type of villain, he never left that little command room. It wasted his potential. I would rather they had a scene near the end of the movie where Cross and Byer had a confrontation, and an evil bad guy monologue. That would have been great. They need to get rid of Gilroy, perfect solution. He was directing and writing, diverting his skill, he wrote the original trilogy, so I think he should focus on writing next, and get one of the Nolan brothers (Jonathan hasn’t solely directed yet, I’m interested to see what happens), Ridley Scott, or get Greengrass back, and all will be well. It would be awesome for Matt Damon to return, but as long as they get a better story, Cross is good, I find exploring the ramifications of Ultimatum to be an interesting concept. (Something they didn’t really do in Legacy.) As for not finding the right story, I’m a 16-year-old Honors kid, and I have perfect ideas for Bourne 5, I would send in my suggestions, screw you copyright issues! Call Chris Nolan, he’ll fix everything.

    • I know. Why didn’t they just make The Bourne Legacy with Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. The Bourne Legacy is the fourth novel in the Bourne Series, it was written by Eric Lustbanner (last name spelling, my bad). The Bourne Legacy novel had Jason Bourne in it, it takes place after Ultimatum. Instead Tony Gilroy and Renner kind of messed up the franchise, but the action in the Bourne Legacy saved the movie. They can make the Bourne Betrayal telling that David Webb (Jason Bourne) is trying to get his normal life back but a CIA agent goes after him and more things happen. There’s ten bourne books in total.

  13. Do another Bourne movie please.

  14. Bourne 5 should have Jason Bourne trying to get his normal life back like in the fifth book The Bourne Betrayal but something strange happens.

  15. The article says that we haven’t seen Jason since 2004. Didn’t we see him in 2007 in Bourne Ultimatum?

    • Um yeah, but it would be a good idea for Bourne to try to get his normal life back but then the CIA suddenly find out that he is alive, and then more of the program will have more people joining it like Aaron Cross in the Bourne Legacy.

    • Dude The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum take place in 2004, becauase remember when Pam Landy tells Bourne his real name David Webb? Right? That scene is in both movies, which means it still takes place in 2004.

  16. Yeah. after all they activated LARX to take down Aaron Cross. in Bourne 5 a lot of LARX will try to take down Cross and Bourne that’s why they need to team up. sorry if its LARX or LARKS

    • dude Matt Damon said that Bourne isn’t a guy who teams up, he works for himself.

  17. Dude anything is possible. matt damon said as long the script is right and viable. and maybe with a nice number on his pay check. anything is possible.

    • I know, anything is possible. Why didn’t they just make The Bourne Legacy with Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. The Bourne Legacy is the fourth novel in the Bourne Series, it was written by Eric Lustbanner (last name spelling, my bad). The Bourne Legacy novel had Jason Bourne in it, it takes place after Ultimatum. Instead Tony Gilroy and Renner kind of messed up the franchise, but the action in the Bourne Legacy saved the movie. They can make the Bourne Betrayal telling that David Webb (Jason Bourne) is trying to get his normal life back but a CIA agent goes after him and more things happen. There’s ten bourne books in total.

  18. I think bourne5 with Matt should take place. I already wrote an idea for the story. It is not rocket science to figure it out. I don’t know why they can’t figure out a script. I wrote after he is swimming away in Ultimatum, he finds picky persons. Since she was his first girl in reality, they get married and have a couple of kids as the previously books said. He is settled in until he hears a call for help to solve a case for Pam Candy, who needs his help. Since he said to her why are you helping me, he wants to return the favor. The villain could be Carlos “The Jacket” from the previous book. Since Matt is little older, he mright use his spy tactics instead of so much physical stuff. That might be a good script to start with.

    • Or since the next book is called The Bourne Betrayal. They could have Matt Damon and Jerrmy Renner find out they are brothers that once Betrayed each other earlier in life. i want to see Betrayal, Sanction, Deception, Objective, Dominion, Imperative…


  19. I am a HUGE “Bourne” Fan!!!!! I bought and seen all 4 Bourne movies.. The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Surpremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and The Bourne Legacy… now only if we can get people to make the rest of the Bourne books such as The Bourne Betrayal, The Bourne Sanction, The Bourne Deception, The Bourne Objective, The Bourne Dominion, and The Bourne Imperative into movies i will be happy as hell…. WHEN IN BOURNE COMEING OUT??????????????????

  20. They can’t leave Nickie Parsons (Julia Stiles) out of the sequel, they Jason and Nickie)need to come together again some place. I enjoyed her in “Ultimatum”.
    I’m a great Bourne fan!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Again – it’s simple. Take a cue from Marvel – work out the rocket science of licensing, egos, and the money it would take … combine Damon (Bourne), Sutherland (Bauer), Cruise (Hunt), and maybe Wahlberg (Bob Lee Swagger) – into one block-buster, super-spy thriller. It would a huge win-win, hands down.

  22. Again – it’s simple. Take a cue from Marvel – work out the rocket science of licensing, egos, and the money it would take … combine Damon (Bourne), Sutherland (Bauer), Cruise (Hunt), and maybe Wahlberg (Bob Lee Swagger) – into one block-buster, super-spy thriller. It would be a huge win-win, hands down.

  23. I was upset by legacy and the lack of Bourne, as I really enjoyed the trilogy. That said, legacy was a good action film and did referance Jason Bourne and the failing of landy. It also showed cross had interest in Bourne…

    Ultimatum did tie off Bourne, but not completely, as Nicky is now on the run, Bourne is alive and a possible romantic connection between them.

    Maybe cross can’t takedown the CIA alone and approaches Bourne, now living with Nicky. Maybe they fight in the beginning and join forces against the CIA later, saving landy in the process and freeing Nicky from being on the run – maybe finishing up completely.

    There has to be another film with Jason Bourne before Matt gets too aged to do it, even if just to tie up the loose ends once and for all…

    But now it seems there’s another non-Bourne Bourne film comming out, so maybe there’s another way of killing the franchise – by poor interest in non-Bourne and a lack of box office sales, causing film makers to avoid the franchise. How many times have we seen that happen over the years?

  24. Simple bourne retires/goes into hiding as Webb, finds religion takes the peaceful route – like a mink or something similar swearing off violence . Local corruption ( police ) that harass Bourne from time to time is linked to political corruption with medical testing with previous agents and the pills etc. etc. The testing leads to a potential Ebola like virus caused by in-house cia agents working with terrorist trying to break down the USA which draws Bourne and Cross together, due to mutual enemies. He forget the peaceful religious Webb and is “Bourne Again” ! Walah! New title too.

  25. I’ve got the fifth movie script in my hand. There’s a preview at

    The screenplay: 1 – Brings back Matt Damon (shouldn’t have been made without him)
    2 – Explains why he’s been away for so long.
    3 – Takes the story in another direction, at the same time as being true to the original story line concept.
    4 – Is awesome.
    5 – Is stand alone good as a movie itself.
    Please get this to Matt Damon anyone who really loves the franchise. I do!
    P.S You can read my novel Sister Earth….now available etc.

  26. The fifth would be called The Bourne Ideal!

  27. Well they never went into nicky and his past they could do something like he went into find her after he came back from the army but they erased his memory of there past and she was told not to tell him or they will be killed the film could start with her finding him and telling him there past and how it’s her folt he got in this mess also telling him how meany others need help and how to shut down the program then they can run off into they sunset as long life lovers