Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning Replace Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska In 'Brimstone' Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning Replace Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska In 'Brimstone' The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

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

The Playlist By Rodrigo Perez | The Playlist July 20, 2012 at 12:08PM

Tony Gilroy has a mini-armada at his disposal. In June of 2012, in an unassuming block of offices in midtown Manhattan, the writer/director is sequestered with a team of editors orchestrating the next installment of Universal’s lucrative ‘Bourne’ franchise, which grossed nearly a billion dollars worldwide theatrically and a surfeit more from DVD and omnipresent cable appearances. But Gilroy -- who was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay in 2007 for "Michael Clayton," and is the author of all three original ‘Bourne’ scripts -- isn’t simply mounting a reboot or a reimagining, or conducting a linear sequel. Instead, the filmmaker is attempting to pull off a feat rarely attempted with Hollywood tentpoles: a parallel circumnavigation of the familiar ‘Bourne’ narrative told through the eyes of another agent.
11
Jeremy Renner, The Bourne Legacy

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.

Bourne Legacy, Jeremy Renner skip crop

This article is related to: The Bourne Legacy, Tony Gilroy, Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Features, Interviews, Interview


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates