Following the release of The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, star Matt Damon told reporters that he had no plans to return to the franchise unless director Paul Greengrass was planning to do the same. Because the English director wanted to pursue other interests, Damon kept to his word and didn't star in 2012's The Bourne Legacy. The landscape has changed in the year since, however, and now the Oscar-winning actor has confirmed he will be back for the next Bourne chapter, along with his #1 choice director.
Watch the Jason Bourne Trailer here!
Word of negotiations between Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass leaked out this past September, but now the star has personally confirmed not only that he will be back, but when. With Damon and buddy Ben Affleck recently walking the red carpet celebrating the resurrection of their series Project Greenlight, E! took the opportunity to ask about the future of Bourne, and the series star revealed that a deal has been made. Saying that the plan is to shoot next year, Damon said,
"It'll be in 2016 when the movie will actually come out. [Director] Paul Greengrass is going to do another one and that's all I ever said. I just needed him to say yes."
The Untitled Next Bourne Chapter - or simply Bourne 5 - is currently locked in for a July 15, 2016 release date, but there remains a big question regarding what that means for the future of Jeremy Renner's Bourne character, Aaron Cross. The July 2016 date was originally set aside for a Bourne Legacy sequel that would be directed by Justin Lin (his first non-Fast & Furious film since his directorial debut, Better Luck Tomorrow). Renner certainly isn't lacking in franchises these days - as he remains heavily active as Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and he is returning as Brandt in Christopher McQuarrie's currently-in-production Mission: Impossible 5 - but it's also pretty hard to believe that Universal would just be dumping that half of the series.The best bet right now is that we'll either get a Renner-centric Bourne movie at another point in the near future, or Renner's character will be joining up with Matt Damon's in the next film. It all depends on the franchise timetable that Universal has planned out, which may even be a little theoretical at this point.
Given the release date, we can assume that production on Bourne 5 will likely start up around the mid-point of next year - which means that we will surely be hearing about all kinds of plot details (not just those possibly involving Jeremy Renner) and casting rumors pour out over the next few weeks and months. Naturally, we will be following all of it beat by beat, so be sure to stay tuned for the latest updates!