Update: According to Variety, Universal is denying that they’re talking with Damon or Greengrass about returning to the franchise. This might be a tactic to futilely keep the possibility quiet until they can nail down specifics, or it may be the straightforward truth about a project that’s purely wishful thinking.
Even though Matt Damon wasn’t down to do another Bourne movie around the time Universal was putting together The Bourne Legacy—which led to the studio going ahead and doing one without him—he’s always been hesitant to make it look like he was handing over the reins of the franchise to Legacy star Jeremy Renner permanently. As a matter of fact, he’s often made it clear that he and Paul Greengrass, who was Damon’s director on the second two Bourne movies, Supremacy and Ultimatum, intend on someday teaming up on another Bourne movie, but on their own schedule and not the studio’s.
Well, now there’s a report out there that Universal has once again been getting an itchy trigger finger, and have recently been putting feelers out to see if enough time has passed for Damon to want to once again don Jason Bourne’s trademarked, um—t-shirt and gun, I guess—and go on another adventure. How do their efforts seems to be going this time?
According to Twitch, the studio is currently in simultaneous negotiations with both Damon and Greengrass to come back on board the franchise to make another film, which must mean that there’s at least some interest in moving back into the world of espionage on his part at this point. Of course, the Twitch report re-emphasizes that Damon doesn’t intend on doing another one unless Greengrass is his director, so discussions would have to go well on both fronts for this one to go from concept to reality.
And it’s possible that discussions would have to go well with Renner too. Ever since The Bourne Legacy came out there have been whispers that Universal’s longterm plan was to eventually get Damon and Renner back to do a film where the Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross characters cross over, and that seems to still be the case now. Of course, the Renner-starring Legacy didn’t quite perform up to the standards that the Damon-starring Bourne films did, but one has to imagine that the studio wouldn’t want to abandon the investment they made in Renner regardless, especially with Damon being finicky about doing more movies. There should be an interesting dance going on during these negotiations wherein Universal does everything they can to get their cash cow back on board all while still trying to hedge their bets with their contingency plan—which seems to be Jeremy Renner and the constant mention of something called “chems.”
If things go well with Damon and Greengrass’ negotiations, chances are work will begin on the new Bourne movie as soon as possible. If not, then we’re probably going to be in for a pretty lengthy and complex period of reporting on the studio’s efforts to salvage the franchise. And if that proves to be the case, it could be the perfect opportunity for Renner’s people to gouge them for everything he can get. Making movies is so cutthroat.