bourne sequels

The Bourne Ultimatum was like a fairy tale ending. The film seemingly tied up every loose end in the saga of amnesiac super-spy Jason Bourne in the most satisfying way possible. It was a box office smash and a critical success. It won three Academy Awards. It didn’t matter that star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass said they were officially retired from the Bourne business. We had three excellent movies and everyone went home happy.

But things change. The lingering creatives make ill-fated spin-offs like The Bourne Legacy. Actors and directors decide that maybe, just maybe, they should return to their most popular character after all. And then the heads of major movie studios make it clear that they’d like to see more Jason Bourne movies as long as Damon and Greengrass draw breath.

These quotes come from an excellent New York Times article (via The Playlist) on the upcoming release of Jason Bourne, the fifth film in the series, the fourth film to star Damon, and the third film to be directed by Greengrass. The full article is worth your time, but how about we run down some of the highlights?

First of all, here’s Donna Langley, the chairwoman of Universal Pictures, admitting that getting Damon and Greengrass back in the saddle was part of a long plan:

Even though Matt and Paul had been very definitive about not wanting to come back, we weren’t really willing to submit to that.

The article also notes that there are no plans to make a sequel to The Bourne Legacy and that Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross (and his chems) have been put out to pasture. However, it was the mere existence of that spin-off that helped spur Damon’s interest in playing Bourne again:

I thought I was completely at peace with the three movies, and I was so happy with how good they were and what the whole franchise had done for my career and my life. But when I saw their production offices, it hurt me in a way that surprised me.

The next step in the process involved Damon convincing Greengrass to climb aboard, since the two of them are a package deal – if one of them walks, the other goes, too. However, Damon’s reasoning for wanting to make another movie is crystal clear, reasonable, and surprisingly populist:

At a certain point, I said to Paul, ‘People really want to see this movie, and that’s not something to turn our noses up at.’ Having made movies that didn’t find an audience, I didn’t want to thumb our nose at this opportunity.

And that brings us to the quote that inspired the stupid headline at the top of this post. Langley is not shy at all about wanting these two to keep on making Bourne movies indefinitely:

Look, here’s what I think the goal is: to keep Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass doing Bourne movies till they can’t do them anymore.

Jason Bourne opens on July 29, 2016. If it’s as big as the previous Matt Damon Bourne movies, we may see more arrive in the coming years. Until someone breaks a hip while filming a car chase or something. At least Damon won’t have to waste his energy on silly things like dialogue.

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