Fans of Universal’s Bourne Identity trilogy were left wanting more back when 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum brought the series to a final conclusion. Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), the amnesiac super soldier on the lam, had uncovered everything he needed to know about who he was and what had happened to him prior to having been found at sea by Italian fishermen some 5 years earlier.
Though Damon himself had gone on record as saying that the character of Jason Bourne meant a lot to him, it didn’t look like there was going to be any new entry from either Damon or director Paul Greengrass in the Bourne canon any time soon. Unfortunately, that remained the truth – and despite 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner as a new Jason Bourne-esque operative, fans failed to respond to the film in the same manner as they had to the previous films.
But all that’s in the past now – The Bourne Identity 5 is a reality that will reach theatres in 2016, much to the delight of every Bourne fan who didn’t much care for The Bourne Legacy and who only wanted to see a return of the Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass team. As production has already kicked off on the new film, Variety caught up with Matt Damon and learned exactly why he hasn’t returned to the character of Jason Bourne until now.
"…I really liked the franchise and the character but I didn’t see a way to go. But I wasn’t giving up on the idea of doing it. Paul and I kind of talked years ago about perhaps the way forward was just to let time pass and allow the world to change a little."
According to Damon, time was needed to somewhat space things out and provide a framework of “movie years” that could allow for the real world to change and as a result enrich the overall story.
"…you’ll find the character — like “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the third act actually in the movie dovetails with the third act of “The Bourne Supremacy.” So technically when the Bourne character disappears, it’s still 2004. So when this next one comes out in ’16, it will have been 12 years — in movie years — that the character as been off the grid. So what’s happened in those intervening years gives you a story."
Last but not least, Matt Damon was able to give a little breakdown of where exactly the film is shooting and provide just the right amount of tease on a couple of the action sequences we’ll be seeing in the new film.
"We were in Tenerife, which is supposed to be Athens. It would be like a nighttime riot scene to kind of start the movie. And then England, Berlin a little bit for about a week, and a little bit in D.C. Then we’re going to Vegas for the third act… Big car chase on the strip."
While this isn’t the first that Damon’s spoken about the need for the world to change before a new Bourne film could have come about, it is the most he’s said to date about the new film as a whole. The world has indeed changed a great deal since the last time we saw Jason Bourne and it’s arguable that the newest forms of technology and surveillance will create a world in which Bourne will have to think and act even faster than ever before.
The currently untitled fifth instalment in the Bourne franchise will be released July 29th, 2016.