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Paul Greengrass Explains Why He'll Never Make Another 'Bourne' Film (For The Umpteenth Time)

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist December 13, 2013 at 3:31PM

You hold out hope because, well, that’s what you do (and maybe because you weren’t so down with chems). Maybe, maybe maybe, Paul Greengrass will make another Jason ‘Bourne’ movie and then Matt Damon—who has repeatedly said he will not make one without Greengrass—will be back on board, right? ‘Bourne’ producer Frank Marshall has even said his "dream" would be to have a ‘Bourne’ film that stars both Jeremy Renner and Damon.
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paul greengrass, bourne

You hold out hope because, well, that’s what you do (and maybe because you weren’t so down with chems). Maybe, maybe maybe, Paul Greengrass will make another Jason ‘Bourne’ movie and then Matt Damon—who has repeatedly said he will not make one without Greengrasswill be back on board, right? ‘Bourne’ producer Frank Marshall has even said his "dream" would be to have a ‘Bourne’ film that stars both Jeremy Renner and Damon.

Hell, Damon has even left the door ajar just a little saying last year, he’d be open to the idea if he and Greengrass could come up with a fourth film that includes Jason Bourne, however adding, "But If we can't, then we really should leave it alone."

Well, during recent “Captain Phillips” press rounds, Greengrass was asked once again about more “Bourne,” and while he says it was a difficult decision to leave the franchise, the filmmaker believes it was still the right one. And his comments suggest (as they pretty much always have) that he has moved on and isn’t coming back.

“I can’t speak for Matt, but I agonized for a long period of time about it. In the end I felt I had given it my all in two films I’m very proud of and didn’t want to make another if I didn’t believe it could be as good if not better,” he told Deadline.

Greengrass also spoke about the inherent problems with franchises. If they’re a hit, the studios are “obliged to make one every couple of years,” regardless if a good idea exists or not. “I discovered in my heart I didn’t have another one in me. I would be going through the motions and I could never do that,” he said. “The best thing was to move on, have someone else come in and make their mark on it.

Greengrass adds that he recognizes that he owes Universal and the franchise a great debt for making his career, “but you get to a place where the desire to serve the studio conflicts with your own desire to move on and stake out new ground. If you’re going to have a long career in this business, you’ve got to try new things or you very quickly become predictable and stale.”

The director wishes them luck and hopes the franchise can live on, but he won’t be the person to helm it. “I hope they do [continue the series] and that the franchise prospers; but I knew it wasn’t going to be me,” he said. “I’m completely at peace with it. I look back now and think, if I’d done my third film, and hadn’t done it well, I’d have been really upset. I wouldn’t be at peace with it the way I am now.” Well, that’s pretty much that.

And as for his “Memphis” Martin Luther King project, he says it’ll happen, but maybe you’ll have to wait a few years. “You’ll definitely see it, I’m just not quite ready to do it yet. I don’t think it will be next.” 

“Captain Phillips” just scored four key Golden Globes this week and is still in theaters now. The fifth “Bourne’ film starring Jeremy Renner is due in theaters summer 2015.

This article is related to: Bourne 5, Paul Greengrass, Memphis


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