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Academy Award-nominated director/screenwriter Tony Gilroy has been hired to write a screenplay for a fourth film in the Bourne franchise. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog, the film will be titled The Bourne Legacy. Although the fourth novel in the series is also titled The Bourne Legacy, this film will not be based on that book. Rather, it will be an entirely new story based on Robert Ludlum’s famed super spy, Jason Bourne.
There is an interesting dilemma here: Paul Greengrass, who directed the last two films in the series, and star Matt Damon might not be returning. Greengrass has stated that he is not interested in making any more Bourne films. In addition, Damon said that unless Greengrass is involved, he is not interested. Even so, Universal is determined for this movie to happen, likely based on the financial success of the previous films.
The first three Bourne films were acclaimed action films in addition to money-makers; the third film won three Academy Awards in 2007 in production categories. Greengrass not being in the picture would mean that one of the film’s most influential creative forces would not be involved. Even more detrimental would be the absence of Damon. To an extent, he became this character. As it is one of his only franchise roles, it is certainly his most famous role to date. Replacing him with someone else could be a disaster for the film, or worse: a box-office disaster. Although there is a spy franchise that has proved that changing your lead is not necessarily self-destructive, it’s too soon to say Bourne has anywhere near the staying power of a certain agent 007.