Despite some recent rumors to the contrary, the Jason Bourne franchise is still in need of a new director for its next installment, Bourne 5. Justin Lin is a director in need of a new hit action movie franchise, having abandoned The Fast & Furious series after shepherding it back from the brink of bargain-bin hell during his four-installment run.
So what do you do when you have peanut butter on one slice, and jelly on another? Why, you slap that bread together and make a nice sandwich - which is apparently what Universal is attempting to do by luring Lin to the Bourne franchise.
Variety drops the report that Lin and Universal are currently in early stages of talks for the Bourne 5 job, with the site claiming that the next move to make is Lin's. Also stated is that Jeremy Renner is still slated to return as his Bourne Legacy character, Aaron Cross, and that the script is currently being written by Anthony Peckham (Sherlock Holmes, Invictus). It's not a slam dunk that Lin will take the job, as there are said to be other projects competing for his attention, including WB's Runner, Imagine Entertainment's L.A. Riots and Universal's hot, MI6 thriller spec script Section 6, which Hugh Jackman is interested in headlining.
The real unknown variable is where Lin's head is currently at: He broke onto the scene with the insightful indie hit Better Luck Tomorrow before moving on to big game like the Fast & Furious franchise; he left that cash-cow behind due to the increasingly heavy demand for rapid turnaround on installments - so is he ready to jump back into a major franchise like Bourne? To be fair, outside of Better Luck Tomorrow, Lin's attempt at big screen drama has resulted in the James Franco/Tyrese vehicle Annapolis, so maybe he should stick to a genre he's had big success in?
There's also the question of how Bourne fans will respond to this proposed idea. Question is: how big is the overlap between Bourne fans and F&F fans? At first glance one might think, "Pretty big," but really those are two different franchises, that appeal to some widely different demographics, for some very different reasons. Under Lin, Fast & Furious gradually transformed from race-culture caper flicks into full-blown super hero-esque vehicular action movies. Bourne got its reputation for being a smarter, darker, grittier, more grounded version of James Bond - so would Lin's track record for popcorn entertainment blow-outs be welcome in this franchise?
No deal is done yet, so don't freak out too much; for now, just let us know your opinions in the comments.
We'll keep you updated on the status of Bourne 5.