Last night was the premiere of "Green Zone," and while Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass were there, junkateers for this weekend seeking to find 'Bourne 4/Bourne franchise' info from the duo might want to be prepared to pull teeth.
All Damon told MTV was that's all everyone wants to know, "Is there going to be another Bourne movie?" and effectively side-stepped the question. But the guys said a bit more to Roger Freidman, with Greengrass concluding "I don’t think I’ll do it. I’ve done it." A Universal source said, “We have to wait for a script” (does this mean Universal might be actively working on a prequel script? or a new one to entice Damon?). And Damon didn't know and was more interested in talking about the Coen Brothers' upcoming "True Grit" film, which he will star in alongside Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin. “It’s based on the original novel, not the John Wayne movie. The script is amazing. And yes, it’s violent.”
Update: Ok, now this is really definitive and very nice work from Ed Douglas over at Coming Soon.
You'll see a lot of yokels out there who talked to Paul Greengrass today and say the director is now officially not doing "Bourne." That's nonsense. Greengrass has obviously been off the project since December and confirmed this to the trades shortly thereafter. That made it official. But Douglas' interview with both Greengrass and Damon is more of a final word on the matter. In short, they're both not really interested in pursuing this story right now. Shocker, it's something they've said all along and even hinted at for months, suggesting no ideas or scripts had made them happy (then they kept saying no scripts existed, but ideas were obviously being generated by two different writers, George Nolfi and Josh Zetumer, both of whom were publicly hired in the trades).
The strange thing is that when Damon spoke/speculated about a potential 'Bourne' reboot or prequel, we assumed it was mostly just that, speculation on his part. In fact, Universal responded to his remarks, made on a red carpet in the U.K., and said any putative plans for the 'Bourne' series were definitely premature.
But now both Greengrass and Damon keep talking about rebooting the franchise, as if that's their polite way of saying, 'here Universal, no hard feelings, take it, do what you want.' Greengrass obviously knew last fall he didn't want to do a fourth film.
"When I was honest with myself last Autumn, and I was starting to get going on other things, you just come to a point where you realize you've done it. You don't have anything more to contribute to a franchise that needs to continue obviously, and in order to continue, a franchise needs to be rebooted and reenergized by new perspectives. I just felt that I'd done it, and there's nothing unnatural about that."Greengrass ultimately discovered he wanted to do other things when he couldn't decide on a relevant storyline for a character that had now completed his arch and had discovered who he was and where he came from. "I did spend some time thinking that I might [do 'Bourne 4'] and getting myself to a place of 'what would [that] be?' and it's only when you do that where you find, 'You know what? I'm gone. I'm onto other things.' "
When asked the same question, Damon even suggests actors to play the parts! Is he suggesting ideas or is he saying, Universal knows what next steps it wants to take, it's hard to say.
"I think they have a good way to do a prequel with someone else, and basically make it about 'The Bourne identity,' the actual identity. Any studio is interested in making it an evergreen that can just go on and on and on, and it never will with our character because he's resolved his issues now. He's got his memory back three times now. I don't think anybody wants to see me say 'I don't remember' again, but I think what we could do is that you can do some movies with another actor, anyone, whether it's Ryan Gosling or Russell Crowe or Denzel Washington, and he's Jason Bourne, and at the end of his one or two or three movies, you see them getting ready to pass the identity onto me, so it just becomes like a 007, it becomes the name that they give this certain person who is uniquely positioned. So then if Paul and I come back and do a fourth one in ten years, we'll pass it onto someone else and then the thing can kind of go on."Odd, very odd. So it's like Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are passing some tips to Universal on how to prequelize the 'Bourne' series, wipe their hands clean and then move on to other films?
This is so bizarre, we honestly don't even know what to make of it. Anyhow, Universal, if you want to move forward with a fourth film, or even a prequel here's five good, plausible directors you could use. Most of them were written up with the intention to use Matt Damon as the lead still, but all of them would still work (though whether any of the them would want to be part of a prequel surely remains to be seen).