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The saga of the Bourne films continues. Slightly, anyway. We’d heard not too long ago that Paul Greengrass, who directed the last two films in the series, was off the fourth film. Matt Damon walked along with him, having once said that he’d only do a fourth film with the director.

The pair has the film Green Zone coming out soon, and while doing promotion for that movie they’ve talked about Bourne. The bottom line now is: both are walking away (still) and endorsing the idea of other people taking over the series.

CHUD and Coming Soon both have quotes from Greengrass about the fourth film. His statements boil down to, yep, it’s over for him, time to move on, no hard feelings.

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.

That points to the prequel/reboot idea that Matt Damon mentioned not too long ago. Indeed, Damon’s new statements push the idea of opening up the ideas behind Bourne’s identity so that the studio could cast another actor and keep making films using the franchise name.

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.

Damon mentions that this would be a way where, if he and Greengrass wanted to do another movie in ten years, they could. Which doesn’t seem very likely, but it’s the old Hollywood approach — never close any doors you don’t have to close.

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