It's hard to believe, but the last time we saw Jason Bourne was The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007. It took them 9 years to make a fourth entry in the series, Jason Bourne, which hits theaters this weekend. Normally it doesn't take a studio very long to greenlight a sequel to a successful franchise, so why was there such a big gap in between movies? According to Matt Damon, the answer is actually pretty simple: they needed a good story.
Matt Damon spoke with Entertainment Weekly about all things Jason Bourne, and eventually they got to the topic of the gap in between films. The Bourne franchise has plenty of fans who have wanted Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass to bring the character back, so it's not like a sequel wasn't in high demand. Apparently, both Damon and Greengrass wouldn't come back until there was a good enough story, and that involved giving the series some space for a couple of years.
We love making these movies, and there just wasn't a story to tell so I'm glad we waited this long. Over the course of all these years, people would come up and ask me if we were gonna make another, and the same thing was happening to Paul Greengrass, the director. People would come up to us and ask us, and I think that just became humbling. Having made a lot of movies that nobody went to see, I definitely appreciate a loyal audience.
Props to Matt Damon for that sick Matt Damon burn. It's always nice to see a celebrity that's willing to laugh at himself a little. As for the rest of what he said, it's hard to argue with the logic. A good story is pretty much the main reason to make any film (besides money) and it's refreshing that Damon and Paul Greengrass recognized that. Nobody wants to see Bourne become a lazy franchise that makes the same movie every two years. Plus a little space helps to get people more eager to see a new addition.
In the same interview, Matt Damon went on to say that he and Paul Greengrass looked at where the world was in 2007, compared it to the way it is now. They were surprised by just how much had changed, from the Obama administration to social media. Social media seemed to be a big focus for Damon, who cited the argument of privacy versus security. Plenty of movies have tackled that over the years but Bourne never has, so his statement implies that it could play a big factor into Jason Bourne.
You can see the story that took 9 years to come up with in Jason Bourne, which is out in theaters right now.