This summer, Tony Gilroy and Jeremy Renner served up The Bourne Legacy, a Bourne movie without its title character. But those who’ve been following the franchise over the years will recall that that wasn’t always the plan.

After the success of The Bourne Ultimatum, star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass tried for years to get a fourth Bourne off the ground. They never quite managed to make it work, even with the help of screenwriters George Nolfi and Josh Zetumer. Now the actor has revealed that he also once approached Jonathan Nolan, the man behind two-thirds of Christopher Nolan’s Batman saga, to get a story sorted out. Hit the jump to read Damon’s comments.

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Jeremy Renner for ‘The Bourne Legacy’?

Tony Gilroy has been working on securing a lead for the film and possible franchise that he and Universal are spinning off from the Bourne films. This isn’t a reboot, remember, put a sort of parallel set of stories that will mostly stand on their own but also shed some light on the existing Bourne movies.

We’ve heard about possible actors to lead the new film, and now an offer is reportedly going out to Jeremy Renner. Will he be the new Bourne… er, Bourne-like guy? Read More »

Tony Gilroy Returns to Write Bourne 4

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After The Bourne Ultimatum was released in 2007, Fox quickly announced development on a fourth Bourne movie. First we heard, producer Frank Marshall was hoping to begin shooting next Summer for a 2010 release. Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon had  signed on, and George Nolfi (co-writer on Bourne Ultimatum, but he also wrote Ocean’s Twelve) was hired to write the script.

Rumor had it that the next film in the series would not even be loosely based on one of the novels, but would instead be an entirely new adventure (with a possible South American destination). From what I understand, the sequels to the original Robert Ludlum novels left much to be desired (not that they stuck close to the storyline of the books anyways).

In August, Matt Damon said that they don’t yet “have a story and we don’t have a script” and Universal moved on and hired another screenwriter Josh Zetumer to write what is being described as “a parallel script” after Nolfi was forced to depart from the project to ready The Adjustment Bureau. Gressgrass has recently publicly departed from the project, and Damon has always insisted that he “wouldn’t do it without [Paul Greengrass] .” Damon has since said that a fourth film will “probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director.”

So what is happening with the fourth film in the Bourne series? We have a major update…

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There’s been a lot of problems getting a fourth Bourne script in good shape. Writers have come and gone, Paul Greengrass left the project and Matt Damon even said he wouldn’t do another one unless Paul came back. So, I reckon the following bit of news was pretty much inevitable, if a little quicker coming than I might have expected.

Speaking at the UK premiere for Invictus, Damon gave the following update on the status of the Bourne franchise:

There’ll probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we do another one, just because I think we’re probably another five years away from doing it – we’ve got to get a script.

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A month ago there was news that two directors were possibly in line to take Steven Soderbergh’s place on Moneyball: Marc Webb of (500) Days of Summer and Capote‘s Bennett Miller. At the time, there was conflicting info on who was first in line. THR seemed to emphasize Webb, but The Playlist had been told that Webb’s offer was old and that Miller was really the guy in line for the job.

Variety now confirms the latter info, saying that Miller is being tapped for the job. Questions linger: what is the new script, by Aaron Sorkin, really like? While Brad Pitt remains attached, will he actually make the film? What will the budget end up being, with or without Pitt? (It was in the realm of $60m with Soderbergh on board.) If Sony really has Miller signed, we should know some of those details soon.

After the break, some minor stuff on Bourne 4 and the new Jack Ryan movie. Read More »

Paul Greengrass Quits Bourne 4

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[UPDATE: Paul Greengrass has issued a statement, reprinted in Variety. He's as diplomatic as you'd expect: "My decision to not return a third time as director is simply about feeling the call for a different challenge. There's been no disagreement with Universal Pictures. The opportunity to work with the Bourne family again is a difficult thing to pass up, but we have discussed this together and they have been incredibly understanding and supportive."

Read the whole statement there, and note that Mike Fleming floats George Nolfi and Tony Gilroy as possible replacement directors. Nolfi is plausible, as he's already directing Damon in The Adjustment Bureau, and good notes there might offset any lack of support for his Bourne 4 script. Gilroy would be a surprise, as he wasn't at all happy with the way Bourne 2 and 3 went down. If he came back to the series, the underperformance of Duplicity notwithstanding, I'd be very surprised. Original article follows.]

If you’ve been following the very slow development progress on the fourth Bourne film, you know that it is (a) rather surprising that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass agreed to come back and (b) fraught with uncertainty about how best to proceed. The latter has led to a dearth of news, and reading between the lines it has seemed like the involvement of the principals was pretty tenuous.

Now the shaky nature of the project is being emphasized by the news that Greengrass has walked away from the film. Read More »

Matt Damon Talks Bourne 4, Hasn’t Read Script(s)

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There’s been a lot of talk about the projected fourth Jason Bourne movie, and Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass still seem to be heavily considering it as a possible project. But some of the talk is getting into bizarre territory, like the report that Universal is developing parallel scripts. But according to Damon, he hasn’t yet read either script, and we can infer from comments made today that Greengrass hasn’t either. Read More »

Fourth Jason Bourne Film Finds Another Screenwriter

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A fourth film in the Jason Bourne series is still in active development, despite recent speculation otherwise. Last week Matt Damon told Entertainment Weekly that they don’t yet “have a story and we don’t have a script.” Universal has apparently moved on and hired another screenwriter Josh Zetumer to write what is being described as “a parallel script.”

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