Although The Bourne Ultimatum served as a stellar conclusion to the series, Matt Damon is set to return to his most famous role in 2016, with Bourne 5 (not the official title). Damon's Jason Bourne won't be joining forces with Jeremy Renner's The Bourne Legacy lead Aaron Cross for this next installment, despite the Avengers star's continued hopes for a team-up one day.
However, some exciting new faces are joining the franchise with this upcoming installment. Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones and Ex Machina star Alicia Vikander are now set to play roles in the film, while the list of returning cast members includes Julia Stiles. Now we know who Jason Bourne will be facing off against when he returns to the big screen.
According to Variety, Vincent Cassel will play the villain in the Paul Greengrass-directed film. His character is reported to be an assassin tracking Bourne, and it sounds like Cassel won the role that Viggo Mortensen - his co-star in 2007 crime thriller Eastern Promises - was previously circling. The new Bourne film will mark a reunion of sorts for Damon and Cassel, who both appeared in Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen in the mid-to-late 2000s.
Despite a storied career that reaches back to the late 1980s, Cassel is perhaps best known for his recent villain types - like, the emotionally manipulative ballet director in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. For the most part, he has leaned toward darker indie fare (see also Danny Boyle's crime tale Trance for another recent case in point), making this new role perhaps his most high-profile Hollywood role to date.
Cassel has the proven impressive range and a specific specialty in playing less than savory characters. So a role as a hired gun targeting Damon's ex-government agent sounds like it's right up his alley. He'll join fellow characters like Clive Owen, Karl Urban, and Édgar Ramírez, on the list of people who've played assassins (who end up going after Bourne at some point or another) in the Bourne franchise, thus far.
Plot details for Bourne 5 remain under wraps, though Damon recently hinted that the new film - which he co-wrote with Bourne Supremacy/Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass (who's also back at the helm for Bourne 5) - will continue the series' tradition of mining current political discussion points for its social commentary. Production is set to begin shortly throughout Europe, and Universal has lined up a prime summer 2016 release date for the film.
Seeing as Damon's first three Bourne outings having earned nearly $1 billion worldwide - and Bourne 5 sounds quite promising on paper at this point - this new installment could well be on course to become one of the bigger summer hits, next year.
Bourne 5 hits theaters on July 29, 2016.