Matt Damon Will Not Return For ‘The Bourne Legacy’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm,

The Bourne Legacy, the long-gestating fourth installment in Universal’s popular spy franchise, finally started gaining traction last week when it was announced that Tony Gilroy had signed on to direct the film.

Gilroy wrote all three previous Bourne films and was hired back in June to write a new script for the latest entry. The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass decided early on he wasn’t interested in carrying on with the series and without him calling the shots, star Matt Damon threatened to jump ship as well.

Some predicted that The Bourne Legacy might be a prequel or a reboot while others suggested that the series could simply continue on with a new actor in the lead role. Well, Gilroy recently spoke with Hollywood Elsewhere to clarify whether or not Damon will be involved and to explain how his film will tie-in with its predecessors.

Unfortunately for fans, it seems Damon is definitely not returning.  However, they’re not recasting the part either. Gilroy explains:

“This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one’s replacing Matt Damon. There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter… this is a stand-alone project.”

He also confirms that while The Bourne Legacy borrows its title from a novel by Eric Lustbader, it’s a completely original story. So how exactly does he justify keeping the name Bourne in the title when the character isn’t in the film?

Although it’s not a particularly satisfying course of action, my initial assumption was that the Jason Bourne alias would simply be passed on to a different operative. Apparently, that’s not the case:

“The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal … Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he’s very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for what happens. I’m building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy…the world we’re making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne’s return [down the road].”

Bourne 41 Matt Damon Will Not Return For The Bourne Legacy

Matt Damon as he will NOT appear in 'The Bourne Legacy'

I’m not sure how I feel about The Bourne Legacy acting as a cinematic placeholder while Damon decides if he’s ever going to play the part again, but Gilroy does make it sound like there is a very deliberate and calculated trajectory for the future of this franchise:

“Everything you saw in the first three films actually happened, and everyone who got into will be rewarded for paying attention. We’re going to show you the bigger picture, the bigger canvas. When you see what we’re going and see what we’re doing it’ll be pretty obvious.”

It’s a somewhat unexpected move, but perhaps Gilroy realized what a monumental task it would have been to recast that role. As interesting as this approach sounds, I just can’t get over the fact that they’re about to make a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne. Still, this is a safe way to preserve the closure of Ultimatum and deliver a film that’s equal parts sequel and spin-off.

I’m not sure how necessary another Bourne movie really is, but Gilroy is the sole factor preventing me from being totally dismissive of this project. I’m incredibly curious to see how he adapts his own screenplay and I’m confident that he’s capable of delivering something unique and relevant while still respecting the other films in the franchise.

And then I go right back to thinking that this is a Bourne film without Jason Bourne. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts on Gilroy’s approach to The Bourne Legacy?

Source: Hollywood Elsewhere.

TAGS: Bourne 4
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  1. 007 pulled it off I’ll wait and see

  2. Without matt damon there is no bourne he made the movie not worth paper its written on sorry nice try.



  5. It s like a jurassic park sequel without t rex.

  6. please Paul Greengrass come back and bring Jaason Borne with you so we can have Matt back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Hard to define the plot 1st hour. No chemistry with girl. Too much chase not enough skilled fight. Girl was okay but too much crying and barely enough attitude. Bring Matt Dammon back and the Paul director too.

  8. I personally love and follow Matt Damon’s movie the Bourne idinity. Went to watch Bourne legacy and it’s ok. I was really disappointed to find out that Matt Damon is not the main actor. I like watching him play this movie because his fighting skills are furiously fast.

  9. Matt Damon is way better actor then this new guy. Please come back to act in this type of movie please….. love the way you fight its really believable and interesting. Please come back to act in action movies.. thanks biggest fan

  10. Just seen it and while I enjoyed it and would def recommend that you see it, it’s just not the same without Jason Bourne. The new character just doesn’t come across as “hard as nails” like Bourne. Im hoping Matt Damon might at least put in an appearance in future sequels.

  11. I can feel Robert Ludlum stirring in his grave!

  12. funny

  13. damon do the movie because your great as bourne

  14. Matt Damon for me is the right man for the job. If there is no Matt Damon. . . . . Then there is no bourne. We Filipino’s, Waannnnnnntttt Maattttt Daaaamooonnnn! LOL

    • why make a movie of something that was already finished ?????????

      and then make another one without the best bourne character EVER !!! WTF!!! idd say the film is “ok” at MAX but with Matt damon in it you could do alot ALOT !!! better…

      MATT DAMON = Jason Bourne ! = FACT

      Dont replace something awesome with something thats not !!!

    • ka maayo ra ni jeremy renner! pataka raman mo!

  15. fail

  16. Im not really into these sort of fimls but with bourne i am hooked this is very unusual from my type of movies i like. However i wont watch bourne legacy as matt damon made the original 3 and it wont be the same without him. If matt damon wasnt going to do the supremecy then it should have just ended in my opinion. It wont be the same and i doubt it will be as popular as the others were

  17. Just saw it… Definitely a must see. I was initially disappointed to hear Matt Damon would not be in the movie, and therefore paid no attention to articles stating it was NOT a recast but a whole new adventure. And that it was!! I must say I was definitely impresses. Some series get old
    …shrek…MIB…home alone lol! This could new Bourne could extend the series at least 4 more…

    • I think you need to see more movies. You should download the movie “Hitman” which is a video game made into a movie staring Timothy Oliphant. That is almost as good as the first three Bourne movies. This last movie, Legacy, wasn’t worth the comments that you made. Not in many of OUR opinions. Please check out the Hitman movie. I think you’ll really like it!

  18. This that b******* I was talking bout!

  19. hollywood makes promise nd breaks hearts,i ws nd still am dissapointed,,dey cant jst swich a character in a series movies,.,nd de movie is calld bourne,witht bourne dats BS.

  20. Thats so stupid. I feel the same about all movies that change the stars. Matt Damon made those movies. I felt the same with batmans. Every movie is a different actor for batman. Matt Damon needs to stay in these movies. Silence of the lambs and all the movies after should of had Jodie Foster in those also. This movies not the same without Bourne. The original…….

  21. without matt damon, is’nt the borne legacy

  22. Really disaoppointed. I love Matt Damon, it distroyed the whole movie! GASHHHHH! IDIOTS!!

  23. Well, I’ve started to watch action movies lately and realized that I haven’t seen any of “The Bourne” movies (now I’ve seen the first 3).
    I really love Matt Damon and when I looked for The Bourne Legacy on IMDB and saw that he isn’t in the latest “Bourne” movie I was dissapointed!

    What, why and how were the first questions I asked. I was really looking forward to see him acting and fighting in this part. That kinda brought my mood down.

    Ok, I haven’t seen the 4th part yet, I ain’t even going to do that, so I can’t comment on it. I’ll better read all of the books first and then watch the 4th part after. I bet it’s going to be a mindf*ck.

  24. hi, i am usman, i was much disappointed not see Matt Demon in Bourne Legacy, he is an excellent fighter and his fighting style was very different. Please in next series you must be cast Matt Demon.

  25. After watching The Bourne Legacy,I was so sad coz it had no connection with the first three frequent. In my country here(Nigeria), my friends are sad coz to them it like the Bourne film series is losing(no link with the others) without the main cast. I want to the marketers to resolve whatever differences they have the casts and the director (Greengrass). We want to see Matt Damon in the next series,please. Thanks.

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  27. Damon better be in the next movie

  28. My wife and I just watched the film and were completely disappointed, to say the least. Gilroy does not know how to hold an audience captive, just how to put them to sleep. I read the other three novels back when they were first published, and loved them and their respective movies. Matt Damon was a genius in his role, and the movies were all as fast paced as in all of the novels by Ludlum. As far as this film’s writing is concerned, there is a difference between Robert Ludlum who is a first class writer in the spy genre, and this Gilroy who has a third class imagination, and it definitely shows. This movie was totally rubbish. Only the actors were worth staying around to make sure the movie would continue to be a total flop up till the end. I’m very sad that Gilroy ended up tarnishing the Good franchise’s name. Rubbish, I tell you. Rubbish.

  29. I think he was the reason i watched the first three movies! im not going to watch this one!