Tony Gilroy Scripting Bourne 4, It's A Sequel, Not A Prequel
Working the press junket for Green Zone back in February, I was amongst the first to hear that neither Matt Damon nor Paul Greengrass would be returning to the Jason Bourne franchise, the director saying that he wanted to try something else and the actor saying that he wouldn't return without the director. Strangely, however, they weren't averse to the idea of Universal continuing the franchise without them, even suggesting a way to get around the casting issue. It looks as though the studio was happy to have the green light.
Deadline reports that Tony Gilroy, the only screenwriter to work on all three Bourne films, has been hired by Universal to script a fourth, currently titled The Bourne Legacy. The story will be based on the 2004 Bourne novel written by Eric Lustabader, which takes place directly after the events of The Bourne Ultimatum. The studio is currently aiming for a 2012 release date.
So much for Damon and Greengrass' creative suggestions. While the idea of creating a prequel would make recasting the role a non-issue (making the "Jason Bourne" just a title as opposed to an identity), this direction requires the studio to find a new actor to play the same part. The Deadline article suggests that the actor and/or the director may have a change of heart somewhere down the line, but I truly don't see it happening.
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