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Last week, Universal announced Bourne series writer Tony Gilroy would helm the fourth film in the hit spy thriller franchise and Damon’s involvement was still up in the air. This week, Gilroy tells Hollywood Elsewhere that not only will Damon not be involved, but also that the currently titled The Bourne Legacy will feature a different character(s) altogether.
Gilroy said, “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].”
So basically, Gilroy found a way to keep continuity in the franchise without the character of Jason Bourne needing to appear. If the star or stars of this film can hold their own, Gilroy’s crazy idea might just work, but it’s a prayer at this point.
Important to note again that Gilroy’s screenplay is original and will not use any elements of the Eric Van Lustbader book The Bourne Legacy.
Gilroy continues saying: “Everything you saw in the first three films actually happened, and everyone who got into will be rewarded for paying attention. We’re going to show you the bigger picture, the bigger canvas. When you see what we’re going and see what we’re doing it’ll be pretty obvious….but Jason Bourne’s actvities in the first three films is the immediate trigger.”
Say what you will about the core of this franchise being ripped up, but this is a pretty intelligent solution to the “no Damon” problem. Plus, it doesn’t ignore the cohesive element of the original. Sounds like we might see some other spies who were part of the Treadstone/Blackbriar projects. I’ll reiterate, it will take some serious talents, however, to amp up the interest of the fan base.