There’s little doubt Universal plans to keep making “Bourne” films indefinitely, but until today, the direction those films would take was very much up in the air.
Now it appears that Tony Gilroy, who wrote drafts of all three of the “Bourne” films so far, will not only write but direct “The Bourne Legacy,” which may well serve as a total reboot of the property. Matt Damon has previously indicated that without director Paul Greengrass, he has little interest in playing the character again.
Gilroy just recently turned in a draft of “Legacy,” and evidently the direction he’s taking the series is the direction the studio likes. There were several other takes on this one, with several other writers working before Gilroy, but this is the first sign that the studio thinks the material is something they’re serious about making. The “Bourne” franchise is incredibly important to the studio, and despite Gilroy’s involvement with all of the films, he’s been very vocal about his disappointment with them.
So does that mean we’re going to see a different approach to the material altogether? Surely not. But maybe the new film will emphasize high-tech spying just as much as high-impact action. Gilroy loves to build elaborate mechanisms for his films, and “The Bourne Legacy” would seem to be a perfectly logical film to do that with.
If Universal’s unable to pin Matt Damon down to do this film, then will they still use Jason Bourne as the main character? Or, as the title implies, are we going to see someone else picking up the threads laid out by Bourne in the earlier films? After all, there’s no rule that says Bourne has to be the main character. I would assume he’ll retain some role in the proceedings, but there were enough storytelling seeds planted in the series so far that there’s room for Gilroy to do almost anything this time out.
At this point, there’s no word on when we might see this new film, although earlier than 2012 would seem impossible at this point. I love that Universal continues to be a studio that takes real risks… the set report you read here tomorrow is all about one of those gambles… but in order to do so, they need to make a few sure things, and right now, the “Bourne” series seems like the safest of those safe bets. It all depends now on how they put the rest of the team together around Gilroy.
We’ll have more for you on “The Bourne Legacy” as Universal makes its decisions.
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