The following story contains spoilers for Paul Greengrass's Jason Bourne. Stop reading now if you've yet to see the summer blockbuster.
This past summer, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) came out of semi-retirement to tackle a nagging memory about his father, and the Treadstone program that helped turn him into a lethal agent of the United States government. Hard truths were learned, as Bourne learned to work with, and then against, a double-crossing CIA operative named Heather Lee (played by Alicia Vikander). Their collective paths eventually cross near the finale with Aaron Kalloor (Rogue One's Riz Ahmed), a tech genius being funded by our government to create Deep Dream, a social media program that can further our government's efforts to spy on every living human being.
As Jason Bourne drew to a close, Bourne (Damon), Lee (Vikander) and Kalloor (Ahmed) had open-ended resolutions that easily could be picked up in the next Bourne movie... if there is another Bourne movie. And when I spoke with producer Frank Marshall about Jason Bourne and the future of the franchise, he told me all of this is intentional:
Another key element that we always have in the Bourne movies are great supporting actors and I think, you know, the sort of new group that we have, from Riz Ahmed to Alicia Vikander, and our other folks at the CIA, really sets us up for moving on to the next one. So, I was very pleased with that. It wasn't just a rehash of the old movie. ... We haven't really settled down yet to talk about what we're doing next, but obviously we've set it up so we can go a lot of different directions with [Alicia] and Matt and Riz, you know, the whole group.
That's what struck me about Jason Bourne. Yes, Matt Damon is going to come back. But thanks to movies like Ex Machina, The Danish Girl and the upcoming Tomb Raider relaunch, she has become a household name who you'd be happy to build a franchise around. The same is about to be said for Riz Ahmed, who has built up his audience with HBO's The Night Of, and has the potential to explode with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Frank Marshall admits that they got these actors at the front of the curve, but he then knows that he has the capability to capitalize on their popularity if and when they develop the next Bourne story.
As for the state of that sequel, and the secret to its possible success, Frank Marshall tells me:
The key to all these movies is you've got to have a good script and a good story. And then people want to come back, because they remember. I mean, this certainly was a wonderful reunion of all of us, and we had a ball making the movie. They're hard, but you know, there's such a shorthand that exists with everybody in this franchise, that it was really great to be back together. We certainly we had some fun dinners in London and Las Vegas.
You can relive the fruit of that labor with Jason Bourne, which hits DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Order it here.