What would you like first, the good news or the bad news? Well, I guess you don’t really get a choice, do you? Bad news it is. Remember way back when Matt Damon swore he wouldn’t do another Jason Bourne movie unless director Paul Greengrass (Green Zone) was at the helm after Greengrass’ hasty exit from Universal’s Bourne 4.0 development discussions? The decision has been made and Greengrass is out and Michael Clayton writer/director Tony Gilroy is in for the tentatively titled Bourne Legacy.
With that, Bourne fans can breathe an apprehensive sigh of relief. Universal is determined to bring the trained assassin back to the big screen and will be doing it with the help of someone who knows the series inside and out, but they’ll be doing it with or without Damon. The question is whether or not Bourne will still be Bourne if Matt Damon isn’t in the picture, but before we get ahead of ourselves, there is hope.
While Gilroy has only got two directing gigs under his belt and one was an alright effort (Duplicity), the other was that little movie called Michael Clayton. Perhaps you remember it? It’s easily one of the best legal mystery/thrillers out there and if I recall, people kind of liked it (just ask supporting actress Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton). Gilroy also penned the scripts for all three of the existing Bourne films, so I have no doubt that he can bring some of that Michael Clayton mojo as the new Bourne director. While signing Gilroy as the director doesn’t meet Damon’s exact demands, he is quite literally the next best thing (if not the better thing). Other than Greengrass, no one knows the series better.
With an easy fit for director and Universal’s unyielding resolve to make the movie happen, I’m hoping Matt Damon has a change of heart and comes back to the franchise. (Please?!) No matter how good the script and the direction are, I fear that there cannot be Bourne without Damon.