Can you believe it's been 8 years since Matt Damon last portrayed Jason Bourne in The Bourne Supremacy? Daniel Craig has done well keeping the image of the modern man of espionage alive but who doesn't miss Damon's more down-to-earth, scrappy and conflicted Jason Bourne? And conversely, who misses the Bourne pretender of Aaron Cross? Anyone?
Matt Damon himself couldn't stay away from the role for too much longer - and there was much rejoicing when Damon and his Bourne-directing colleague Paul Greengrass finally confirmed they would be continuing their saga. Being the loyal guy he is, Damon's love for the character was only ever impeded from continuing by Greengrass' reluctance to immediately start on another film after Supremacy. When Damon confirmed the announcement of a new sequel:
“Paul Greengrass is going to do another one and that’s all I ever said. I just needed him to say yes,” he said.
Scheduled for the summer of 2016, it will attempt to right the ship after it took a detour with The Bourne Legacy.
In what should be looked at as a cautionary tale for all film franchises, [The Bourne Legacy](movie:205927) was supposed to be a Jason Bourne move - the title would make you think so, right? And it was also the title of the fourth book in the Jason Bourne series created by author Robert Ludlum (there is no Aaron Cross in the books). While The Bourne Legacy makes it clear that the events in that film are going on concurrently with the previous Bourne films, it's also been made clear that the new film will have nothing to do with Aaron Cross.
There was vocal animosity from Damon after The Bourne Legacy moved forward on without it's Bourne.
“…['Legacy'] kind of relives [The Bourne Ultimatum] from a different perspective. What that means, because they use our actors and characters, is that whatever they said [in 'Legacy'] is true and so we’d have to acknowledge it in any Bourne movie that we’d do. And that makes it really tough. I don’t think we can do the Dallas it-was-all-a-dream scenario . I don’t think the audience would go for that after they paid money to see a movie.”
In fact, Damon publicly derided the script that Legacy writer and director Tony Gilroy handed in for Ultimatum as being so bad it caused endless problems for him and Greengrass. He's since apologized for airing this issue in the media but it certainly appears to have caused Damon and Greengrass to sever ties with Gilroy on any further collaborations in the series. For the first time in the franchise, Bourne 5 will feature a non-Tony Gilroy script, with longtime Greengrass collaborator and editor Christopher Rouse having been tapped to pen the tale.
So far the series has been titled according to the progression of the Ludlum source material. So does this mean we can expect an announcement that [Bourne 5](movie:423881) will be named after the fifth book in the series, The Bourne Betrayal? It's certainly a fitting title given the reception Legacy had with Damon and Greengrass.
Fox recently pushed the release date back a week to July 29, 2016. So despite Damon's busy schedule with Ridley Scott's The Martian and Alexander Payne's Downsizing, it looks like we're still on track to see Jason Bourne back in action in 2016 and that's a glorious thing no matter how messy and complicated things have become.