The rumor that Matt Damon will play Jason Bourne yet again - with The Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum's Oscar-nominated director Paul Greengrass calling the shots - is one that has simply refused to die over the past year, despite staunch denials from such people as Bourne franchise producer Frank Marshall. Cut to the present and we're not getting reports from multiple sources that Universal has, in fact, worked out a deal for a Damon/Greengrass/Bourne reunion.
There's long been speculation that the developing Bourne Legacy sequel - which has Justin Lin (Fast and the Furious 3-6) attached to direct - could team up Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross and Damon's Bourne on a new adventure, but it doesn't sound as though that's the plan with Bourne 5. Details are scarce at the moment, but Deadline is reporting that Universal is pushing for this project to begin production in the first half of 2015 - and thus, be ready in time to take the 2016 release date that was previously reserved for Lin's Bourne spinoff/sequel (with the latter being moved to another day).
A few months ago, Latino Review broke the news that Bourne 5 with Damon is being planned, but at the time we assumed that meant that Damon and Renner's ex-black ops agents would join forces in the movie - not so, it seems. Deadline specifically mentions that Universal's intention is to "broaden its ['Bourne'] franchise base," much like Marvel Studios has done with its superhero films. Meaning, the studio wants to keep building a Shared Bourne Universe, where there can be cross-overs between the Damon films and Renner movies... just maybe not right away. (Presumably, we will get some clarification sooner than later, now that the cat's properly out of the bag.)
We found out last week that Lin is in talks to direct part of True Detective season two for HBO, with the plan being that he would then turn to filming the Bourne Legacy sequel thereafter. The scheduling change-up, however, means that Lin ought to have more time to work on True Detective (perhaps direct more than the first two episodes, as was originally reported), and then won't have to rush into production on the next installment headlined by Renner's Bourne universe counterpart.
Just a few days ago, word also got out that Greengrass had his eye on helming the 1996 Olympics bombing drama that has both Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill attached to star. It's not clear yet if it'll be feasible for Greengrass to work on both Bourne 5 and that project, but ideally he will. Frankly, both movies would sound all the more promising if it became a given that the Captain Phillips and United 93 filmmaker - renowned for his journalistic visual style and socially/politically-conscious thrillers - is the one who will be sitting at the helm.
As for what Bourne 5 will be about - Damon has long maintained that so long as the story continued Jason Bourne's tale in a reasonable fashion (with Greengrass leading the way), he is game to play the character again. Fingers crossed, it was a captivating pitch that finally convinced Damon and Greengrass to work together on the Bourne playing field once more - and not just some other rea$on. (We assume that, either way, a dump truck full of money was probably involved...)
Bourne 5 (starring Matt Damon) is reportedly now aiming to reach theaters on July 15th, 2016. The Bourne Legacy sequel (with Jeremy Renner) will arrive at a different date.