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Maybe Matt Damon watched what happened with Spider-Man and made assumptions about the future of the Bourne franchise. Maybe he knows something we don't. Either way, he got some mental gears turning when Empire caught up with him at the U.K. premiere of Invictus and asked him about the future of the franchise that he and Paul Greengrass made a hit.

“There’ll probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we do another one,” he said, “just because I think we’re probably another five years away from doing it – we’ve got to get a script…”

You'll remember that Greengrass basically kicked Universal in the stomach when he walked away from Bourne 4 last fall. Damon has since been the most optimistic of the two, promising he'd come back if Greengrass did and predicting scenarios in which they might actually return. But with The Green Zone, their next project, widely predicted to not turn a profit, and Damon wanted for dozens of other movies, what do we think are the odds that they'll return to a franchise they both seem ready to walk away from?

When Raimi ditchedSpider-Man entirely, Sony basically nuked it and started over again. Wouldn't it be smarter for Universal to start over with a cheaper, younger Jason Bourne, and go from there? Four different actors have played Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, and it seems like the most logical place for Jason Bourne to go from here. If a Bourne prequel is a hit, I have a hard time imagining Universal asking the more expensive director and star, with their own opinions about the franchise, to return. A prequel might give Damon and Greengrass exactly what they probably want-- an excuse to walk away for good.

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