When Matt Damon decided to walk away from the Jason Bourne franchise, it was for one very simple reason: he didn't want to make the movies without director Paul Greengrass involved, and Greengrass decided he was satisfied with the work that he had put into the series. Universal Pictures has moved on, making The Bourne Legacy with Tony Gilroy directing and Jeremy Renner starring, but now it looks like it won't be long until the original star returns.
Variety's sources have informed them that both Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are now in early negotiations to come back for another installment in the Bourne franchise. The article doesn't explain why the actor and the filmmaker are thinking about changing their minds, only that it is actually happening. One important factor could simply be time, as it has been a full seven years since the release of The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007. Maybe they're just missing the experience?
What's unclear is how this new development will affect the most recent developments with Jeremy Renner's wing of the Bourne series. Justin Lin is currently attached to helm what is simply known as Bourne 5, and Universal has scheduled the project for release on July 16, 2016 with Renner's Aaron Cross returning as the lead. There is a possibility that this new Greengrass/Damon film could wind up bumping that movie, but nothing is 100% clear at this point.
It's not hard to see why Universal would be very excited at the prospect of getting Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass back together on the Bourne franchise. Not only were they responsible for the two biggest hits in the franchise - The Bourne Ultimatium ($227 million domestic gross) and The Bourne Supremacy ($176 million domestic gross) - but The Bourne Legacy didn't exacly work wonders when released in 2012. While its $113 million domestic total was nice, it wasn't so great when compared to the $125 million budget. When it comes to Bourne, many fans see Damon as the real deal, and that's going to put asses in the seats - particularly because the movie can be sold on the actor's big return.
Rather than making the situation Damon vs. Renner, however, it would be in Universal's best interest to actually unite them. It's a franchise model that Marvel Studios proved can work extremely well, and can anyone out there really say they don't want to see Matt Damon and Jeremy Renner team up to kick some shady government ass?
If these reports turn out to be true, you can be sure that the next few weeks will give us at least one update on the situation. Be sure to stay tuned for the latest updates, and hit the comments below to tell us what you make of the whole situation.