Starting with 2002’s The Bourne Identity, the Jason Bourne film franchise not only provided a vibrant new cinematic spy saga, but redefined action filmmaking as we know it. And though he didn’t direct the first installment, director Paul Greengrass played a huge part in ushering in the style that would seep into mainstream action cinema by helming The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and returning years later for the underwhelming Jason Bourne.
But it seems like Greengrass’s Bourne days are behind him once and for all. Read his comments about the future of the Bourne franchise below.
During the press rounds for his Tom Hanks-starring western News of the World, Greengrass was asked if he’d had any conversations with Universal about returning to the Bourne world.
“It hasn’t come up recently, so I actually don’t know what their plans are,” Greengrass told The Playlist. “I’m sure they’ll make more Bourne movies, I hope so. I don’t know whether I’ll be involved, but I’ve done my stint really, haven’t I? Let’s be honest. But I love a Bourne movie, and I love the actor, and I wish them well, you know. The truth of it. I’d be first in line, that’s for sure.”
That certainly sounds like he’s tapping out of making more films about Jason Bourne/David Webb, but it’s worth noting that both Greengrass and star Matt Damon were adamant that they were done with this franchise after 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum. (Anyone who saw Jason Bourne knows that their initial instinct to walk away at that point was the correct one.) But then again, look at what happened with Sylvester Stallone and the Rocky franchise: after a significant lull with Rocky V, he resurrected it with Rocky Balboa and then passed it off to a new creative voice with Creed, which gave the franchise a shot in the arm. I guess if you keep milking IP for long enough, the odds of making good entries eventually go up.
The head of Universal once publicly said, “Look, here’s what I think the goal is: to keep Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass doing Bourne movies till they can’t do them anymore.” It seems as if Greengrass has escaped from that creative constraint and is thriving outside of it (News of the World is very good!). But Hollywood loves a redemption arc, so we’ll have to see if his Bourne days are truly behind him.