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Tommy Lee Jones, over the course of his career, has played the stoic bureaucrat who has had to stop our hero (be it Will Smith, Harrison Ford or Chris Evans) from saving the day. Now, he’s putting Matt Damon in his eyesights as part of the still-unnamed Jason Bourne sequel, with Paul Greengrass at the helm.
Variety reports that Tommy Lee Jones has joined the next Bourne adventure, co-starring alongside Matt Damon, who returns to the series after sitting out 2012’s The Bourne Legacy. The trade notes that Jones will play "a superior officer at the CIA," which puts him at the tail end of a long line of character actors playing stuffed shirts in the Bourne series, including the great Joan Allen, Brian Cox, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Albert Finney, Chris Cooper and Stacy Keach. Seriously, that’s an amazing repertory of angry, bitter old actors who hate the way Matt Damon (and, once, Jeremy Renner) operates.
Variety also confirms that while Julia Stiles will return for her fourth entry in the series, she will be joined by Ex Machina and The Man from UNCLE beauty Alicia Vikander in an undisclosed role (something we have been tracking for some time now). No mention yet of Viggo Mortensen, who had been rumored for a part in the fifth Bourne movie, and may still surface as details continue to emerge.
The Bourne series finds itself in a unique spot. It attempted to break away from the trilogy of films established by Doug Liman, Paul Greengrass and – more important – Matt Damon when it bet on Jeremy Renner and the story of Aaron Cross. (Chems!) While the movie did OK in the States, banking $113 million back in 2012, it wasn’t much of a draw internationally. It made more than The Bourne Identity, the first film in the franchise, but sequels should trend upward, and Legacy wasn’t as big as Universal had hoped.
So when Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass agreed to return to the series, you could understand why the producers were willing to shift back into gear with the team that delivered two hits in The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Supremacy. There are precious few details in the rest of the Variety piece, outside of the fact that Christopher Rouse is handling screenwriter duties for the fifth Bourne film, and production is expected to begin before the summer ends. Right now, Universal is looking to have Matt Damon’s latest Bourne in theaters on July 29, 2016… so I’m sure producers like Frank Marshall will be watching Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation this weekend to see how a like-minded spy thriller performs on this particular weekend.