When The Bourne Ultimatum seemed to end Jason Bourne's story in 2007, Universal looked to continue the franchise with a new character: Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross in 2012's The Bourne Legacy. However, that film underperformed both critically and commercially, causing the studio to put a Legacy follow-up on hold for the time being. Instead, after years of rumors and speculation, star Matt Damon is finally coming back to the series with director Paul Greengrass for the aptly-titled Jason Bourne. Drawing from a script by Damon, Greengrass, and Christopher Rouse, the latest installment places Bourne in the post-Edward Snowden world of espionage and aims to be a "completion" for the character's journey.
Even though the film is set to hit theaters in a few months (at the time of writing this), Universal has not released much in terms of marketing. Outside of a 30-second Super Bowl television spot and a handful of images, promotional materials are hard to come by, meaning the film's actual plot has largely been kept under a veil of secrecy. But the studio is poised to ramp up their advertising efforts now, as they've unveiled the movie's first full-length trailer (watch it above).
The catalyst for the narrative seems to be former CIA employee Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles, reprising her role from the original trilogy) hacking into the organization's servers and bringing classified information to Bourne, meeting him during a nighttime riot in Greece. From there, the CIA tries to cover themselves by tracking Parsons, setting off a game of cat-and-mouse that the franchise is known for. Greengrass appears to be working with the familiar theme of government corruption, one that's been prevalent in the earlier Bourne installments. Audiences learn that Bourne volunteered "because of a lie" when he was known as David Webb, so his mission this time out appears to be exposing the atrocities of the CIA's black ops program - beyond what he did in Ultimatum. In addition, Bourne has a more personal goal in mind, finding peace after learning the truth about his past.
Watching Damon in the role again is obviously the main draw, but Greengrass has assembled quite a talented cast around his headliner for Jason Bourne. Newcomers include heavy hitters such as Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, and Riz Ahmed. Vincent Cassel will portray this film's villain, an assassin tasked with tracking Bourne down. The Bourne franchise is known for delivering standout performances and well-rounded characters, so chances are this group of talented actors will be able to keep that tradition alive.
Whenever the band gets back together years after an acclaimed run, there's always the risk that the continuation will fail to live up to its predecessors and potentially sully the brand's reputation. From the sound of it, fans won't have to worry about that with Jason Bourne. Damon and Greengrass were always interested in doing another film, they just wanted to make sure they had a great story to tell. Apparently, the duo found a very compelling narrative, one that they were so passionate about they had to write it themselves. The Bourne series is something they care about, and if this is to be the final chapter for Bourne (as Damon has implied), they're going to want to make it count. Greengrass and Damon redefined the action genre in the 21st century with their previous Bourne installments, so they've certainly earned the benefit of the doubt.
Jason Bourne hits theaters July 29, 2016.
Source: Universal Pictures