Damon coming back for a new Bourne film
After months of rumors, Matt Damon confirmed to E! Online that he is planning on returning to the Jason Bourne franchise. Director Paul Greengrass will also return, and Damon claimed the film will be released in 2016.
Damon left the series after completing the third Bourne film, 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum. Despite Damon’s departure, the studio pushed ahead with a fourth Bourne movie, directed by Tony Gilroy and starring Jeremy Renner as a new character, loosely connected to Bourne. Although the franchise apparently moved on, Damon claimed he was willing to return – but only if Greengrass returned. After working on the second and third film though, Greengrass claimed to have had enough.
The original plan for The Bourne Legacy film was to continue the story with Damon returning as Bourne, but Greengrass opted out in 2009, sending the franchise into a brief hiatus. The subsequent film managed to continue the story without rebooting, or even really affecting the original storyline. It is a spin-off as much as anything, so the return of the character of Jason Bourne should be smooth enough.
Things change though, and now Greengrass and Damon are on board, and the film is loosely set for a 2016 release. Work will begin next year.
And at the moment, that’s all we know. The obvious question – will Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross appear – is unknown. It’s also unclear if Greengrass will return to direct, or just act as a producer. Gilroy’s possible involvement is also unknown; Gilroy co-wrote all four films, so his absence would be notable.
The films were originally based on Robert Ludlum’s trilogy of films, with the fourth loosely based on Eric Van Lustbader’s The Bourne Legacy. Lustbader wrote eight other Bourne books, so there is a lot of material to draw from. The films have already gone in a slightly different direction though, but if they follow the chronology of the book titles, the next film will be called The Bourne Betrayal.