By Edward Davis | The Playlist October 27, 2010 at 8:53AM
Damon Say He's "Thrilled" Door Is Open For A Paul Greengrass-Led Return; Says 'Liberace' Still Aiming To Shoot In The Summer Of 2011 Despite Douglas' Battle With Cancer
No sooner did Matt Damon say that "no one bothered" to call him regarding the Tony Gilroy-to-direct-"The Bourne Legacy"-announcement and all hell broke loose on the Internet. While Damon did sound partly miffed, those comments were soon expounded upon to be some sort of angry 'Bourne-gate' by overzealous writers (let's face it, as we said, Damon was aware this was happening and his newer comments essentially admit as much).
Speaking to EW about his comments regarding 'Bourne Legacy,' the actor dismissed them simply as a comment he tossed off during a roundtable because the journalists there were "badgering him" for a quote.
I was in a roundtable and they were, like, badgering me about the next Bourne movie. And I was like, “I don’t know, guys, they didn’t call me. They’re doing another movie with Tony.” I think it’s a smart thing to do. It doesn’t interfere with Paul [Greengrass] and me doing a movie. As I understand it, if you think of X-Men and then Wolverine, it’s just that process in reverse. Tony doesn’t want to hurt the Bourne story. So as I understand it, Jason Bourne is alive in the world that Tony’s going to create. I don’t appear in it, but it’s very much that world. As far as Paul and I are concerned, as long as there’s room for us to come in and do another one, we’re thrilled.
Damon also had praise for Gilroy calling him a "clever guy...an A-list director in his right" and adding, "My guess is he has thought of a really great way to do it, to create a whole world that feels like the Bourne world." Damon also admit, his comments about not being notified were glib and he knew what was going on. "Well, it’s not like it was news to me, in the sense that our Bourne conversations with the studio were over a year ago.So I knew that they were trying to figure out a way to reboot it without killing our ability to do another one. So in that sense, it wasn’t like it was totally out of the blue."
One of our first selfish fears when we heard that actor Michael Douglas had contracted throat cancer was, "crap, bye, bye 'Liberace' film," the biopic that's supposed to be directed by Steven Soderbergh focusing on Liberace (Douglas) and his lover Scott Thorson (Damon). Written by Richard LaGravenese ("The Ref," "The Fisher King"), we assumed the long-gestating project, based on Thorson's own book, "Behind the Candelabra (My Life With Liberace)," was basically done for due to Douglas' health issues, but Damon's comments to EW suggest that the actor is doing fine and will be ready to shoot next summer.
I’ve talked to Michael and everything’s on schedule for him, which is great. So we’ve all cleared our schedules and are all really excited about that happening. And then the fall’s wide open.
Damon also hopes to work with Paul Greengrass again when his schedule opens up and that could be on another 'Bourne' film that they could take their time on.
So I’d love to do something with Paul [Greengrass], whether we do Bourne or something else. I know he’s been looking for something. So I don’t know if he’s going to generate his own piece of material or what. But my guess is if they’re going to do this one, it’s going to come out in 2012, so they’re probably not going to hustle to get ours going. So I think we have a little time, which is always nice for us because we’d be able to come up with a script. Which would be great.
"The Bourne Legacy" by Tony Gilroy is currently eyeing a August 2012 release date. Damon is currently shooting a small role in Soderbergh's virus infection thriller, "Contagion" (which is no longer being shot in 3D), which is already scheduled for an October 21, 2011 bow. Next up in theaters for Damon is the Coen Brothers' "True Grit" (December 25, 2010) and then "The Adjustment Bureau" which is slated for March 4, 2011 (directed by George Nolfi, ironically one of the people who wrote a version of the "Bourne 4" script that was never used). Next spring he'll shoot Cameron Crowe's "We Bought A Zoo" and if all goes well, after that comes "Liberace" which has been rumored to be Soderbergh's "last film" if he keeps to his "retirement" promise (we hope he doesn't).