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Exclusive: Tony Gilroy Pulls The Curtain Back On The Secretive 'The Bourne Legacy'

by Rodrigo Perez
July 20, 2012 12:08 PM
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Gilroy is well-aware the window for the dramatic middle ground films that are his bread and butter -- the “Michael Clayton” films of the world -- are shrinking. In fact he says that period ended around the time of "Duplicity" was released in 2009. He says it’s over and it’s not coming back, but griping about it is like complaining about the weather. The filmmaker says all good drama has dispersed en masse to the land of TV. While he seems open to exploring that one day, the director says he gained a large appetite for “big time filmmaking,” creating "big time shots" and fantastic scenes during ‘Clayton’ and “Duplicity.” Gilroy says after his debut he was offered a lot of action pictures and to be puzzled by him directing ‘Bourne’ is an underestimation. But, if you want to work where he aspires to stay, in what he refers to as "the big game" of feature films with a real budget, one has to find material that engages both the filmmaker and the audience. " 'Bourne' hit that sweet spot for me," he says.

Tony Gilroy declines to engage in questions about Matt Damon, the star of the ‘Bourne’ series who made disparaging remarks about Gilroy’s ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ script earlier this year. But suffice it to say the filmmaker still seems shocked, surprised and hurt for someone he clearly has admiration for. "I don't understand that at all. I don't know where it came from. I think Matt is one of the greatest actors of his generation,” Gilroy told Empire magazine recently.

"If this works, it will be with a real cosmology and real mythology going forward."

But Gilroy doesn’t seem to be preoccupied with that dramaturgy at the moment and is more keen on moving “The Bourne Legacy” into the future. He’s already thinking sequels, but is acutely aware audiences have to embrace this pilot franchise film first. He has a vision that he’s mapping out and hints at it in this new film: if there was Treadstone/BlackBriar and now there's Outcome, who's to say there aren't further programs out there? And who's to say the puppet masters of this film aren't pawns in an ever larger scheme?

“If this works, it will be with a real cosmology and real mythology going forward,” he says. “It will very nicely clear some fields to the horizon that are legitimate, interesting things to play with that aren't cheesy."

Still, the question remains: will Damon ever return to the fold? One can envision a future film where Jason Bourne is watching the events of 'Legacy' unfold from wherever he's currently hiding. Will he pop back on the grid like he did in "The Bourne Supremacy" after months of being underground? Or even better, will there be a Damon/Renner crossover movie?

"It's wide open," Gilroy says with a faint trace of hope on his face. "I don't know."

“The Bourne Legacy” hits theaters on August 10th.

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  • snazzy | July 22, 2012 10:36 AMReply

    Ask Tony Gilroy if he wrote any of the finished product of the Bourne Ultimatum. I cannot stand the guy and he was the one that got Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon off the new film.

  • precisely so | July 22, 2012 5:58 AMReply

    Gilroy didn't write Ultimatum - it was written by George Nolfi and Scott Z Burns after he walked off the picture. But he must have liked their idea of inserting a phone call from another movie - since he admits right upfront he stole it for this movie. Why do you guys never call him on this stuff?

  • Duh | July 22, 2012 10:25 AM

    Yeah, he did. He wrote 1 draft and it was a condition of working on the film --since he didn't want to -- that he wrote one draft and one draft only. When there were problems later on, two writers were called in to work on it. Even Matt Damon said he wrote a draft (one that Damon dissed earlier this year).

    That's very public record stuff. How do you not know that before opening your mouth?

  • Arnold | July 21, 2012 9:53 AMReply

    Thx for this news, i ve been waiting for this news for a long time :)

  • JJ's uncle | July 21, 2012 7:27 AMReply

    Don't worry, Gilroy. As you yourself imply, Americans love crap. It should do great!

  • kerry | July 20, 2012 5:08 PMReply

    the more and more information i get about this movie the more i feel confident it will be good

  • shutthefuckupdonnie | July 20, 2012 1:27 PMReply

    i like gilroy i think he's a good director and i think he'll do a good job with this

  • ronin | July 20, 2012 12:55 PMReply

    i know there are skeptics out there but i think this has a shot to be really good, i mean great cast , great director i think it will be good

  • cameran | July 20, 2012 12:45 PMReply

    i really like gilroy, i think michael clayton was definitly one of the best films of the last decade, i can't wait to see this

  • kingslayer | July 20, 2012 12:40 PMReply

    wow i didn't know corey stoll was in this, now i'm even more excited

  • Matt | July 20, 2012 12:25 PMReply

    Come on, guys, it's ROBERT Elswit, not ROGER.

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