Jason Bourne

The Ingredients is a column devoted to breaking down the components of a new film release with some focus on influential movies that came before. As always, these posts look at the entire plots of films and so include SPOILERS.  The James Bond series is something of a hub in the course of film and pop culture history. As iconic as it is on its own, it tends to be informed by other material as often as it does the informing. In the beginning, for example, the movies were highly influenced by the works of Alfred Hitchcock. Author Ian Fleming even wished for Hitch to direct the first movie adapted from his 007 novels. And Cary Grant was famously sought for the part of Bond, which would have been interesting had he continued with the second film, From Russia With Love, given how much it calls to mind North by Northwest. Instead, little-known Sean Connery embodied the character, and after the first two installments made the actor famous, Hitch cast him in Marnie. As usual, the director capitalized on a movie star’s pre-existing notoriety, his screen value, which makes it quite difficult for us to see Connery’s Marnie character, Mark Rutland, as anything but James Bond as a wife-raping publisher. Hitch went another step with his next film, Torn Curtain, which was an admitted direct response to the 007 films. He wrote to Francois Truffaut in 1965: “In realizing that James Bond and the imitators of James Bond were more or less making […]

read more...

Last night a bunch of critics in the UK were treated to an early screening of Skyfall, and while nobody invited any of our diehard 007 junkies, I figured it’s worth our while to take a look at the first reactions to the new James Bond blockbuster. To do so, I’m using the recent breakdown of elements by one of FSR’s resident Bond experts, Kevin Carr, in order to dissect the reviews and highlight their takes on each individual ingredient. What about overall opinions? It seems they’re generally of a simple consensus, that Skyfall is not only a great return for the series following the disappointing Quantum of Solace but it may be one of the best Bond installments yet. This feat is achieved, apparently, in director Sam Mendes‘s balance of serious and nostalgic tone, brought about with a script (by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and John Logan) pays tribute to the past films and franchise conventions while still also delivering a lot of fresh ideas. And Roger Deakins‘s cinematography sounds like a real highlight of the film — even Oscar-worthy, according to some critics. Check out what the reviews (linked at the bottom of the page) have to say about Bond’s fit with the 10 main ingredients of a 007 film after the break.

read more...

From the aesthetic to its own protagonist, Tony Gilroy did some work to distance The Bourne Legacy from the previous, Jason Bourne-led trilogy. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) isn’t Bourne, and The Bourne Legacy isn’t a carbon copy of the voices Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass helped shaped this series with. His mythology-expanding feature focuses on one man with one simple goal – which doesn’t involve his identity, finding forgiveness, or getting revenge for his girlfriend’s death. As Tony Gilroy told us at the start of the summer, the Michael Clayton director didn’t want to “lose the balls.” With an edgy anti-hero in the lead – one who’s capable of using either a wolf or a fire extinguisher to save his own skin – Gilroy kept the balls of this series intact while also exploring new thematic corners of the Bourne universe. If Gilroy is correct, we’ll soon see more episodic and expansive mega-blockbusters told in the vein of The Bourne Legacy, and it’s a prediction the Academy Award nominee seemed excited by.

read more...

The announcement that the Bourne franchise would continue without Matt Damon was met with skepticism by many, including myself, for several reasons. The most relevant? Matt Damon played Jason Bourne. How could the franchise continue without him and his character but still call itself a Bourne film? Would another actor step into his shoes a la James Bond, or would it simply be another case of an agent with amnesia going rogue? The answer turned out to be neither, and instead, rather ingeniously, The Bourne Legacy is a parallel story that begins during the third act chaos of The Bourne Ultimatum. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a top agent who finds himself caught up in the Bourne fallout when the agency attempts to cover their tracks by terminating his co-workers. He’s forced to go on the run alongside an agency scientist (Rachel Weisz) while trying to out maneuver new a executive-level baddie played by Edward Norton. Some familiar faces from the first three films crop up along the way to flesh out the connective tissues between films, but this is really an introduction to a brand new character… and possibly a brand new trilogy of films. Check out the trailer below, and tell me your not at least a little excited to see this.

read more...

“There was never just one.” Well, that’s a nifty way to explain why Matt Damon isn’t in the latest installment of the Jason Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy. Damon’s out, and Jeremy Renner is in as another victim and/or participant in shady Project Treadstone. This first stylized trailer (complete with Inception-esque “brannngsss” and “brrahhhhmmms”) introduces us to Renner’s character – a bruiser from Reno who is on the run after showing some impressive stuff to all those government heavies who’ve gone through this already with Jason Bourne. Don’t you think Joan Allen‘s Pam Landy is just exhausted by now? Join the program and check out the trailer for The Bourne Legacy after the break.

read more...

It was kind of a head-scratcher when it was first announced that Universal would be making another Jason Bourne movie that didn’t have Matt Damon in it. How do you make a movie about Jason Bourne without Jason Bourne? The plan seems to be to keep the action happening in the same universe that it previously in Damon’s three movies, but to introduce another operative as our protagonist. That’s a dumb idea. Why not just make a different movie called something else? Stupid ideas aside, The Bourne Legacy managed to get a great actor in Jeremy Renner to play the new operative, so maybe it won’t be all that bad. It still leaves a lot of question up in the air, though. Who is Renner’s new character going to be? Is this movie going to look like the original Bourne movies, all gritty and handheld? Well, when recently talking with Empire, Renner managed to cough up some details about the new movie, and while revealing, it all sounds like pretty typical sequel speak. When asked about the tone of the new film, he confirmed that, “Yeah, it’s that same deal, it’s just a new set of agents with a different leash. It’s the same tempo and pace but more expansive and bigger. The differences are pretty vast but you’ll know it’s a Bourne movie.” I think there’s some sort of clause that gets put in your contract when you sign on for a sequel that you have to talk about […]

read more...

Culture Warrior

When I purchased my ticket for the Thursday night midnight show of Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, I had no idea what I was in for; not because I hadn’t seen any of the previous Twilight films – I have, in fact, seen them all – but because I had never seen a Twilight film in a theater before, much less on opening night. The Twilight subculture befuddles me, as I’m sure it does any non-initiate of the series. Having seen all the films, I still feel like I’m viewing them from afar, like it’s some strange anthropological project of a phenomenon whose worth and value I will never fully understand. Twilight seems to encapsulate the drastic changes that have taken place in big-budget event filmmaking in the last thirty years. Rather than a film made with the intent of mass appeal (like franchises ranging from Indiana Jones to Jason Bourne), the Twilight films play almost exclusively to a specific – but dedicated – demographic. Of course, one could make this argument about many film franchises. Everything from Star Trek to The Dark Knight certainly have rabid fanbases at their core, but the audiences for these films seem to be “filled in” with a significant amount of casual fans. For example, I once viewed the Harry Potter films similarly to the way I now approach Twilight – not in terms of filmmaking quality, mind you, but in terms of being a cult phenomenon surrounding a fictional narrative that I […]

read more...

While doing some publicity for his current release Contagion, actor Matt Damon sat down to have a few words with The Shortlist, and they managed to get a couple quotes out of him that could spell good news for fans of Damon’s previous work. The next movie in the Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy, will be the first one made without Damon or his lead character Jason Bourne, instead Jeremy Renner will star as a completely new character existing in the same universe. When asked if this means he’s done playing Jason Bourne forever, Damon responded, “I was always fine with them doing another Bourne movie as long as it didn’t preclude me and Paul [Greengrass] from doing another Bourne. From what I understand, it doesn’t at all, so that’s fine. I really want to do another one with Paul and I’m sure it’ll happen someday, but for now they’re doing this.” That’s kind of surprising to me, as I thought them moving the franchise on to Jeremy Renner specifically meant that Damon was done with the property. Maybe next we can get a big Renner vs. Damon movie where Matt returns to the character. I could see that making a ton of money. That wasn’t the only moment in the interview where Damon waxed nostalgic, however. Back when he was just 28-years-old, Damon co-wrote the script for Good Will Hunting with his unofficial life partner Ben Affleck. The script won them the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, yet […]

read more...

Well, Jeremy Renner is almost Jason Bourne in that he’s been offered the role as Matt Damon’s replacement. He’s also almost Jason Bourne because he’ll be playing a new character in the same Bourne-verse. Of course, Jason Bourne isn’t even Jason Bourne so it all evens out. According to Deadline Barrelsvile, the two-time Academy Award nominee who defused bombs in The Hurt Locker has been offered the starring role of a Bourne spin-off directed by Tony Gilroy. Now, it’s a matter of him accepting it or turning it down. This, of course, couldn’t make more sense if it had a gun to our foreheads. Renner is set up as an action star that brings acting talent and an intensity cocaine addicts only wish they had to the table. But there’s still a chance he might pass on the role. Why? For one, a packed work schedule. Both The Bourne Legacy and Avengers are slated for 2012, so they’ll have to make it work. Renner also has Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol coming out later this year as well as Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters filming right now for a 2012 release. For two, it’s a question as to whether Renner would be able to/want to take over as the point man for both the Mission: Impossible and Bourne franchises. That’s a lot of spy work for one man. His star is rising, of course, and while he’d be brilliant in this, the choice also almost seems myopic – as if there […]

read more...

Tony Gilroy, who has previously directed Michael Clayton and Duplicity, is hoping to keep movie theaters freshly stocked with new Jason Bourne movies. Currently there are nine Bourne novels in existence, with a tenth on the way in 2012, so there is no shortage of material for the director to adapt to the big screen. Already he has written a script for The Bourne Legacy, and he intends to direct the film himself, so it seems like all systems should be go. The only problem is that Matt Damon is done with the series, so he’s going to have to find himself another actor to play the title character. In a way, a changeover of actors is fitting for The Bourne Legacy. The first three novels in the Bourne series, which have all been adapted into films starring Damon, were written by Robert Ludlum. Starting with “Legacy” all of the rest of the sequels have been written by Eric Van Lustbader. If there was ever a time to change up some things about the film versions of Bourne’s adventures, then this is probably it, even though Gilroy has said that Legacy will have little to do with the established novel other than a shared title. The Latino Review reports that Gilroy and company have decided that Jeremy Renner is the guy they’re looking for to fill Damon’s shoes, and an offer to star has been sent his way. Originally Gilroy wanted Sucker Punch actor Oscar Issac for the role, but […]

read more...

Every so often, a film emerges from the fray to prove its popularity and warrant a sequel. More and more, franchises are planned out in advance, but when one film turns into a franchise, a cash register sound goes off in the ears of the studio. Even though the kid stays in the picture, sometimes the director does not. Maybe the director is done working with the material. Maybe the producers want a more seasoned hand. Maybe a simple schedule conflict keeps him or her out of the chair for the next round up. But the show must go on, so the producers find another director to fill the slot – a director who ostensibly inherits all the strengths and weaknesses of a franchise birthed by someone else. Cinematic sloppy seconds that could have easily turned into sloppy sequels if it weren’t for a steady, talented director guiding the ship. Here’s a list of the ten best.

read more...

I like to think my bullshit detector is fairly accurate when it comes to movie-related rumors, and my track record speaks for itself. Eddie Murphy, Angelina Jolie, or Shia LaBeouf in the next Batman movie? Bullshit. Steve Guttenberg making a comeback? Bullshit. Anything posted as a scoop on MarketSaw.com? Bullshit. Avatar will beat Titanic’s box-office? Bull– well crap.

read more...

paulgreengrass-bourne

Rumors had been swirling since late last week, and this week Variety has confirmed that director Paul Greengrass is leaving the Bourne franchise. So what is Universal going to do now?

read more...

Producer Frank Marshall has a secret briefing on the future of the Bourne film franchise. Make sure to burn after reading, not before.

read more...

Quantum of Solace is taking over the world and raking in a ton of money. We think Jason Bourne might have something to do with it.

read more...

Jason Bourne: Chasing Down James Bond

Among cinematic super-spies, Jason Bourne is currently the ‘in’ guy, despite the fact that sneaky Brit agent James Bond continues to truck right along, releasing his 22nd installment next month. But Bourne isn’t backing down.

read more...

Leave it to the Hollywood spin-machine to make our day interesting with a ridiculous comparison. Apparently, Nicole Kidman’s next movie is the cinematic equivalent of the second coming of Indiana Jones.

read more...

Secret Agent Week

Yesterday Kevin Carr unleashed our list of the Ten Greatest Fictional Secret Agents of All-Time, but we know that it is our duty to give you the final say in who really is the world’s greatest fictional secret agent.

read more...

Secret Agent Week

As we look forward to Get Smart and cower from the Guru Pitka, FSR takes a look at some of our favorite secret agents in movies and television.

read more...

bourne.jpg

Universal has very casually confirmed the existence of a fourth film that will include both Matt Damon and Paul Greengras.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3