But before you trundle down to the theaters for the weekend opening of Jason Bourne in all its fight-fueled glory, here are a few fun facts about Matt Damon's return to the franchise.
1. He Might Be Paid $1 Million Per LINE Of Dialogue!
Though chattiness hasn't exactly been a term we've ever associated with Jason Bourne — or CIA assassins in general, for that matter — it's nevertheless surprising to discover that the character will utter approximately 25 lines in the upcoming installment.
In a conversation with The Guardian earlier this week, Matt Damon reasoned that the development of his character, and the pain he's endured during the previous epics, is behind Bourne's dialogue drop-off:
“Well, I’ve done it three times. In the first movie, the Marie Kreutz character is still alive, so Bourne has a sounding board and he’s more confused about who he is and a lot more chatty. Once she dies in the first act of the second movie, it’s really a very lonely character. And we talked about that mostly on the second one. I remember Tony writing me an email saying, ‘You do realize what this means? You do realize you’re not going to talk in this movie.’ I said, ‘No, I love that.’”
While we're totally down with Damon expressing discontent or motioning for movement through an exaggerated furrow of brow, this lack of dialogue — as Variety has speculated — indicates that the franchise's spy boy could be banking as much as $1 million per line.
The publication theorizes that, given Damon took home a tidy $26 mil. for The Bourne Ultimatum and $25 mil. for missioning to Mars in The Martian, it's unlikely that he would've scurried back to the franchise — especially given his absence from the fourth — if his paycheck didn't at least match previous slips.
Now, that's what I call a tidy profit!
Crazier still, as we heard approximately six of Bourne's lines in the numerous released promo trailers — including, “I remember. I remember everything.” and “I volunteered. Because of a lie.” we must already know over a fourth of his script!
2. That Said, Damon Had To Suffer Through Grueling Workouts
To point out the obvious: In order to play a titular action hero in an obscenely lucrative franchise, you've got to be ripped AF — which, of course, Damon is. However, he also looks beyond exhausted. But that was the plan.
In the same Guardian interview, Damon explains:
"Look, if we open the film and in the first frame of Jason Bourne we see your face and you look like you’ve lived well these past 10 years, we do not have a movie. You have to look like you’ve suffered. And the only way to do that is to suffer.”
And suffer he did. According to his trainer, Jason Walsh, in order to prepare for bare-knuckle brawls, Damon would embark on 90-minute high-intensity gym sessions — including boxing and long runs — five days per week for 6 months.
Walsh told USA Today:
"Two weeks from the end of Great Wall, we started to do more conditioning, lots more VersaClimber, which is a climbing machine. We went on long runs, like on these humongous hills in the Canary Islands. We did a couple days of heavy lifting and metabolic training."
All that alongside a super strict diet of vegetables and protein for months on end. Director Greengrass added, “It was a statement of intent. Sadly, he had to make it.”
3. He Pulled Off An Awesome Prank In One Promotional Campaign, Too
How would you react if one day you received a phone call from Jason Bourne with instructions for a "surprise mission"?
In late June, Matt Damon teamed up with fundraising platform Omaze and Water.org to prank a bunch of unwitting pedestrians. After dropping cellphones on random people's laps and telling them it was "for them," these randoms would be fed instructions and directions via Damon, including things like buying hotdogs and taking an envelope from a stranger — things any average Joe would be deeply suspicious of, especially as they had no idea that Jason Bourne was on the line.
The results, of course, were hilarious, as you can see in the video below:
To be fair, it's a brilliant idea for a marketing campaign and, be real, wouldn't you love to star in your own spy movie too?
4. Damon Bets That Bourne 'Would Obviously Win In A Fight' Against James Bond
Though there's no rivalry between the two blockbuster super-spies, Damon has some pretty strong feelings when it comes to Jason Bourne's British counterpart, James Bond. In an interview with GQ he expressed that not only is Bond a drunken misogynist, but that he thinks Bourne would whip his ass.
“I like Bourne better than Bond. Bourne has today’s values. Bond has the values of the 1960s. Daniel’s Bond has upgraded him and brought him more into the present, but, classically, that character is a misogynist who likes swilling martinis and killing people and not giving a shit. "Whereas Jason Bourne is a serial monogamist – and he’s tortured by the things he’s done and feels empathy and compassion for other people. And Bourne would obviously win in a fight."
5. However, Unlike Daniel Craig, Damon Could Be Persuaded To Be Bourne Again
Fans of the Bourne franchise will be pleased to know that the upcoming fifth installment doesn't necessarily equal its end. As part of the same Guardian interview mentioned earlier, Greengrass acknowledged that while the question of making another Bourne movie is hard to answer before this one has even hit theaters, he won't be making the same mistake as last time:
“I’m not going to make the mistake of saying ‘never,’ like I did before. But I’m not going to be sitting around. I’ve got other films to make.
Well, never say never is certainly a good start! A sentiment Damon seems to mirror as, while he doesn't say outright that he's up for returning, he also didn't deny interest and instead cleverly skirted the question:
"My guess is it will be a while before we’ll even get around to doing another one. They might reboot me before I bow out."
Before Greengrass added optimistically,
"It’s got to continue."
So, fingers crossed!
Are you going to check out Jason Bourne this weekend?