The fourth film in the Bourne franchise is happening but it's been confirmed for a while that star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass will not be involved. Instead, the studio is pushing forward with The Bourne Legacy which, despite its title, does not feature the character of Jason Bourne at all.
The Bourne Legacy will follow another new character who has to deal with the results of the events of the Matt Damon trilogy, while Jason Bourne still lives in the background. While everyone can agree we'd rather have Greengrass and Damon back to make a legitimate sequel, at least this studio-motivated idea allows for them to return in the future should Greengrass gain interest.
The main reason Damon isn't back for Legacy is because he has publicly stated on many occasions that he will not make a Bourne movie without Paul. Instead, Tony Gilroy was brought in to write and direct the fourth Bourne installment which will have nothing to do with the story of Eric Lustbader’s novel for which they're using the title from.
We don't know much about the history of this new character other than he's an assassin who went through the same training/brainwashing Bourne went through. As for who will play the new covert elite, the latest rumors have James Franco as a candidate for the part.
If it does well, we can guarantee another sequel for the new character or Bourne's, or even a mix of the two where they work together. But again, that depends on Paul Greengrass' return as Matt Damon is very hopeful that he can play Bourne again a few years down the line. In speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Damon spoke honestly of his hopes and the situation.
"I really hope it’s going to happen. It’s really up to Paul Greengrass, the director. I’ve always said I won’t do it without him and I think it would be a bad idea to do it without Paul."
If the pair should decide to work with Universal Pictures again on Bourne 5, it will have to be a few years into the future as Greengrass has other projects lined up first.
"I think Paul’s probably going to do one or two other films that he’s got kind of cooking but after that [maybe they would start working on a Bourne film]," he continued. "I think it’s kind of the thing where enough time has passed that I think it won’t matter if we wait five more years to do it."
Unlike most trilogies of the last decade, Greengrass and Damon actually succeeded in delivering a third installment with Ultimatum that was not only good, but arguably the best of the series. When and if they return, they want to ensure they're coming back to make another solid film for fans of the franchise.
"We just want to make sure if we do it, that we do it right. There’s been a lot of pressure for us to do it obviously but that’s that moment I think where you got to step back and make sure you’re not making a mistake. So when it feels like the right time, I think Paul would be open to doing it."
Paul, Matt, you guys should have made Bourne 4 instead of The Green Zone.