The Bourne Legacy won't actually feature, er, Jason Bourne


10th October 2010

A fourth Bourne movie is definitely going ahead, but won't actually feature Jason Bourne. Yep, it's going to be the Halloween III of the franchise.

It was revealed last week that series writer Tony Gilroy would take over directorial duty for The Bourne Legacy, the long-gestating fourth Bourne movie that's been treading water while Matt Damon made his mind up. Looks like that ship has sailed, because Bourne 4 won't actually feature Jason Bourne in any capacity. They should call it Chasin' Bourne. (*honks comedy horn*)

Speaking to Hollywood Elsewhere, Gilroy revealed that Matt Damon wouldn't play any part in The Bourne Legacy:

"It's a completely original screenplay... This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one's replacing Matt Damon. There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter... this is a stand-alone project.

"The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal... Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he's very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for what happens. I'm building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy... the world we're making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne's return [down the road]."
We've known for a while that Damon wasn't exactly thrilled about the potential of a fourth Jason Bourne movie, happy as he was with the trilogy, while Supremacy/Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass walked from the franchise, allegedly because he couldn't find the motivation to get excited about unnecessary fourth instalment. Both he and Damon floated the idea of a reboot or a prequel, but neither seemed particularly enthralled by it.

If there absolutely, positively has to be a fourth Bourne movie - and with Bond on indefinite suspension, there's a huge action window to be leapt through - then this is probably the best way to pitch it. Like Gilroy says, a side-story doesn't mess up the Bourne canon like a reboot or prequel would, and if a few years down the line, Damon decides he wants back in, they can pick up where they left off.

However, it's a tough gig selling a Bourne movie that doesn't actually have Bourne in it. As talented a writer as Tony Gilroy is - he's been nominated for two Oscars, don't you know - he'll no doubt be under pressure to conform to certain expectations. In other words, if The Bourne Legacy doesn't feature an athletic young man with amnesia and secret ass-kicking powers trying to discover his identity, I'll eat my Jason Bourne mouse mat.

Plus, of course, we get to go through the whole tedious process of casting the 'new Bourne', so basically, every washboard-abbed himbo who auditioned for Spider-Man and/or Captain America gets to have another crack of the whip. Either that, or Gilroy just casts Sam Worthington. Just you wait and see.

This is the only solution I could think of.

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