What is 'Bourne Legacy' without Matt Damon?

not-bourneImage Credit: Jasin BolandWith Universal’s decision to hire Bourne screenwriter Tony Gilroy to write and direct The Bourne Legacy, it momentarily seemed as if the studio had a promising strategy to lure Matt Damon back for a fourth Bourne film. Though the actor had expressed his reluctance unless Supremacy and Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass was involved, Gilroy seemed like the one guy who might tempt Damon to reconsider. Not only was Gilroy a co-architect of the Bourne universe, but he had masterfully directed Damon’s Ocean’s Eleven pal, George Clooney, in the Oscar-nominated Michael Clayton. But in an interview with HollywoodElsewhere.com, Gilroy explained that retaining Damon wasn’t the plan at all. “Jason Bourne will not be in this film,” Gilroy said. “What happened in the first three films is the trigger for what happens [in Legacy]…[T]he world we’re making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne’s return [down the road.]”

Consider me crestfallen. The world of Jason Bourne was not really extraordinarily fascinating: Treadstone? Blackbriar? It was Jason Bourne himself, in particular his internal struggle to come to terms with his deadly past, that made the trilogy compelling. We were increasingly invested in the character’s journey, illustrated by the fact that each film performed better financially than the previous one. In June, when we asked EW.com readers if they were interested in a Bourne film that didn’t star Matt Damon, 73 percent said nyet. Plugging another dashing assassin into the void seems to me like a futile and thankless task that will succeed only in raising Damon’s asking price for the fifth Bourne adventure. Then again, James Bond has persevered through multiple casting changes over the years, so perhaps Universal and Gilroy are following a proven gameplan after all.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Do you have any interest in revisiting Bourne’s world of black ops without the man himself? Does Bourne 4 have the potential to be the U.S. Marshals of this franchise? (My apologies for reminding you about that huh? sequel to The Fugitive.)

Read more:
Tony Gilroy in final negotiations for Bourne 4
Paul Greengrass won’t direct Bourne 4

Comments (80 total) Add your comment
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  • Luis

    no. the movies are interesting because of bourne. let’s face it, the rest is standard hollywood gibberish and fantasies of the cia, black ops, etc. etc

  • Ben

    They should get Mark Wahlberg to play Bourne. He and Matt Damon are pretty interchangeable anyway. Though it doesn’t matter if this is going to be a non-Bourne Bourne movie anyway…what’s the point? It’d be like US Marshals without the Fugitive.

    • K

      Interchangeable? I don’t think so…

    • jojo

      Interchangable? What? That’s like comparing a dodge colt (Wahlberg) to a rolls royce (Damon). Damon is 1000% more of an actor than that wooden non-inflecting boob.

  • Craig

    Terrible idea.

  • Jill

    I have no interest whatsoever in a “Bourne” movie without Jason Bourne or Matt Damon.

  • BG

    The third installment said it all – Who is Jason Bourne? ummmm….Matt Damon and no one else. The studio should let the franchise rest and be thankful that Damon made it such a success.

  • Kate

    Well, it sounds like to me that this movie will be part of the Bourne universe, but will be kind of a stand alone too that will have an impact on Bourne resulting in another movie, kind of like when you are reading a series and then randomly the author writes a short story in an anthology or online that you didn’t know about and becomes fascinated with something there and brings it into your series universe. I have this problem with the Zoe Martinque Investigations stories. At least the couple of times that Charlaine Harris did it when Sookie was just a character in a book – it was only getting depth in the story important. I mean, I can accept all I don’t know about Hadley and Amelia before Sookie met Amelia because Amelia is Sookie’s only real friend and Hadley gave us Hunter.

  • Quirky

    This sounds as bad as the new Spiderman reboot.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Hey, at least that one will presumably have a character named “Spiderman” in it. (“Jason Bourne will not be in this film.” WTF?!)

    • Francie

      Or the new Superman reboot.
      Seriously, Hollywood, WE NEED NEW IDEAS! I’d rather no Bourne movie then no Bourne in a Bounre movie.

  • Mr. Holloway

    Studios are so shameless and gutless.

    If Universal wants Gilroy to create a new globe-trotting spy adventure, that’d be fantastic. Instead, they kind of want to do that, but they also want that movie to have the “Bourne” name attached to it for instant recognition. (Even re-casting the movie, ala James Bond, would slightly better, even though Matt Damon IS Bourne.)

  • Jay

    I posted this all over the last article on this subject but I’ll say it again: Hells to the NO!!!
    You wouldn’t make a superman movie without Superman, would you?

    think about this one before you ruin a franchise Hollywood.
    Ditch the project altogether, or get Jason Bourne (played by Damon) involved. Anything less will be a disaster

  • kaydevo

    Without Damon, no interest.

  • Deacon

    Anyone remembers Smokey & The Bandit 3?… Exactly

  • sam

    it will be like Titanic without and iceburg-boring

  • Troy

    Hey, here’s a brilliant idea.. How about we make a movie that takes place in Gotham City, it’s about a group of vigilantes who are inspire by Batman and fight crime.. And no, we don’t have to put Batman in it but let’s call it THE BATMAN LEGACY anyway.. Just brilliant

    • Brad

      I know you were joking but that’s actually not a bad idea.

  • Conor O’Brien

    just like ever other franchise, if it’s good, I’ll see it no matter who is in it, yes a certain actor brings something to a character, but a good movie is a good movie no matter what!

    • RICEARONIE

      your dad molested you didnt he

  • nicole

    how can you have a Bourne film without Jason Bourne horrible idea

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