Hell has indeed frozen over.
We’ve heard Matt Damon say many, many times that he would only consider returning for Bourne 5 if director Paul Greengrass came back, and we’ve heard Greengrass say many, many times that there was no more creative story left in the world of Jason Bourne. Now it appears that they’ve stumbled upon an idea worth exploring, as Universal Pictures is currently in the process of making deals for both Damon and Greengrass to reunite on another Bourne picture—their third together.
Moreover, Universal is so bullish on this prospect that the plan is to have this ready in time for release in 2016. So where does this leave the Bourne Legacy sequel with Jeremy Renner?
The folks over at Deadline report that the dealmaking process has begun to bring Greengrass and Damon back to the franchise in which they had so much success with the stellar The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. Moreover, THR adds that if a deal makes, Greengrass will also write the script for Bourne 5.
The duo had always said they would return to the franchise if they felt there was another story to tell, but after Ultimatum both said they couldn’t see Jason Bourne’s adventures continuing.
Universal kept the franchise alive with the forgettable 2012 Tony Gilroy-helmed spinoff The Bourne Legacy, which saw Jeremy Renner playing another spy in Bourne’s program, but the studio was careful to leave the series open should Damon change his mind. Development continued on a Bourne Legacy follow-up with Fast Five helmer Justin Lin directing, and while the movie was originally slated to open in August 2015, it was subsequently pushed back to July 15, 2016.
A report surfaced a couple of months ago from Latino Review that claimed the Bourne Legacy sequel’s delay was due to the fact that Universal was working to bring Damon back into the fold, but producer Frank Marshall subsequently shrugged it of as nothing more than a rumor.
Well whether there was truth to the report at the time or not, Universal now currently has both Damon and Greengrass in the process of coming back, which is very, very good news.
So where does this leave Renner’s spinoff franchise? Deadline reports that Universal is so bullish on the prospect of Damon returning that their intention is for this Damon/Greengrass film to be the next Bourne movie in production, taking over the July 2016 release date.
The Renner spinoff is still in development with Lin (who just signed on to direct the first two episodes of True Detective Season 2, so it’s not like he’ll be sitting idle in the wake of this news), but to be honest, The Bourne Legacy always felt like a space-holder until Damon (hopefully) returned. Will that sequel still move forward? It’s unclear, but Universal has got to be intently focused on the new Damon/Greengrass movie at the moment, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Renner pic goes on the backburner for a little while.
Damon is next set to reteam with director Kenneth Lonergan on the drama "Manchester-by-the-Sea" before shooting director Ridley Scott’s sci-fi survival film "The Martian," then one imagines he’ll move into Bourne 5. As for Greengrass, he’s been considering a number of different projects after the success of "Captain Phillips," including a true story drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. For now, though, it looks like he may be focused on the Bourne universe once again.
What do you think, folks? Are you enthused to hear that Greengrass and Damon are returning? Would you have liked to see Renner’s side of the franchise fleshed out more first? Sound off in the comments below.