The surprising, unexpected news out of Hollywood right now is the Deadline exclusive report that Matt Damon (Elysium) will be returning as Jason Bourne, the character that made him an action star. Joining him will be director Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), who collaborated with Damon on two of the previous Bourne films (2004’s The Bourne Supremacy and 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum) as well as 2010’s Green Zone.
But fans of the Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) spinoff need not worry, as Universal still intends to make a sequel to The Bourne Legacy (to be directed by Justin Lin), which would be another story in the expanding Bourne universe. Even so, reports seem to indicate that the Damon/Greengrass reunion will take precedent over the Legacy sequel, and that it will take over its July 16th, 2016 release date.
One of the things impeding a Jason Bourne return to the silver screen was Greengrass’s belief that the character’s journey had reached a natural and satisfying conclusion once Bourne had recovered his memory at the end of the third film. To go on with Bourne’s story, he thought, would be unnecessary. Another issue was the fact that Damon had stated in the past that he would only return if Greengrass was directing. Now, with both of those issues seemingly resolved, Universal will have its fifth Bourne movie revolve around the original titular character created by Robert Ludlum.
Rumors of a Damon return have been brewing since as far back as 2013, but his reps had always maintained in the past that those reports were unfounded.
In the meantime, Damon looks to keep busy with the Ridley Scott project, The Martian. Greengrass, meanwhile, is set to direct the Richard Jewell story with Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio. Lin (Fast & Furious) and Renner both have plenty of work to keep them occupied with the former being attached to HBO’s True Detective and the latter working on both the Avengers and Mission: Impossible sequels.