When director Paul Greengrass applied his kinetic, documentary-esque filmmaking style to The Bourne Supremacy - the sequel to The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon - he turned an already superior spy thriller into a tough and gritty franchise and cemented Damon's superstar status in the process. Of course, both Greengrass and Damon departed the franchise following The Bourne Ultimatum, so Tony Gilroy stepped in to direct The Bourne Legacy (with Jeremy Renner in the lead), which the studio hoped would kick off a new trilogy.
Long story short, Legacy was neither a big box office hit nor a critical darling (read our review here). Though Renner and Gilroy arguably deserve another shot at establishing their new narrative, many fans were hoping that Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon would return for the next installment. That film - still known only as Bourne 5 - is in development, but Damon insists he'd return only if Greengrass returns as well. So what does the director have to say?
Here's what he had to say:
“I’ve absolutely no idea [where those rumors are coming from]. I’m not being funny but, no, that’s just a figment of someone’s imagination.”
Universal has similarly denied any involvement from the director or Damon, and when asked whether or not the possibility of collaborating on another Bourne film has come up in conversation with Damon, Greengrass said:
“[Yes], quite a while ago. We might have a laugh about it, but a serious conversation? Not for a long time.”
Which is a fairly definitive statement. As for whether or not Greengrass wants to make another one, his response was more diplomatic than terribly revealing, saying:
“Um... listen, I loved the 'Bourne' movies. I loved making them but it’s like anything in life, you’ve got to move on and do different things."
We know that Universal wants Bourne 5 to happen: Jack Ryan screenwriter Anthony Peckham (who wrote Guy Ritchie's first Sherlock Holmes) is currently working on it, Jeremy Renner is returning to star, but Tony Gilroy's involvement has yet to be confirmed. While fans would welcome the return of Greengrass and Damon (and many audiences would likely appreciate a Bourne flick which actually featured the title character), neither of them return to the well all that often.
Then again, while Greengrass has the highly-anticipated Captain Phillips coming up, other projects - like his Martin Luther King, Jr. project Memphis - have hit delays or been dumped altogether (like the proposed remake of Fantastic Voyage). Similarly, Damon has a role in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar and had the critics raving over his performance in Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, but his summer blockbuster Elysium failed to catch on as expected.
For both Damon and Greengrass, the opportunity to not only excite fans with their return to the Bourne universe but also set the franchise back on track (with a virtual guarantee of box office success) might be a concept they would not be able to ignore, but only if both are on the same page as the studio, story-wise - and only if their other projects keep underperforming or hitting roadblocks.
Hypothetically, the idea that Jason Bourne could be coerced to emerge from hiding and assist Renner's Aaron Cross in his takedown of the government's secret Treadstone organization is a viable one. And as for friction between the stars, Renner has already proven, with his role in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, that he knows how to make his presence known in an established franchise while deferring to its longtime star.
Still, it all depends on Greengrass and his level of interest. He sounds very firmly not involved at this point, but the development stage of a franchise like this can be very fragile.
What say you, Screen Rant readers? Do you want to see Paul Greengrass return to the helm of the Bourne franchise? Let us know in the comments
There's currently no release date for Bourne 5, so stay tuned to Screen Rant as more information becomes available.
Source: Empire Online