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Paul Greengrass Shoots Down Bourne 5' Rumors; Calls Them A "Figment of the Imagination"

by Drew Taylor
September 4, 2013 10:32 AM
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Well, that was quick: just days after rumors circulated that director Paul Greengrass (who helmed the critically acclaimed blockbuster 'Bourne' installments "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Bourne Ultimatum") and original series star Matt Damon (who starred in the first three movies) were being courted by Universal for a return to the franchise, the director definitively shoots down the rumors. "It's a figment of someone's imagination," the director told Empire. At least Jeremy Renner can breathe easier.

When Empire asked Greengrass about the rumors of his return he said, "I've absolutely no idea. I'm not being funny but, no, that's just a figment of someone's imagination." When Empire persisted about when the last time he discussed the possibility of another sequel with the studio, the director also stonewalled. "Quite a while ago. We might have a laugh about it, but a serious conversation? Not for a long time.”

And it doesn't exactly sound like the filmmaker is too keen to return to his spy movie past, either. “Um... listen, I loved the Bourne movies," he told Empire. "I loved making them but it’s like anything in life, you’ve got to move on and do different things."

The persistent rumor was that the studio was attempting to develop two 'Bourne' projects simultaneously: one would be a sequel to last summer's surprisingly satisfying "The Bourne Legacy," which starred Jeremy Renner as a new, similarly adept agent named Aaron Cross, and successfully continued the brand beyond the Damon originals. In a parallel development plan, so the story goes, Universal was attempting a fourth Damon-led 'Bourne' operation, this time with Greengrass. That no longer seems to be the case (if it was ever the case at all), and our money is on the Renner sequel to see the light of day sooner rather than later.

The "other things" Greengrass referred to seemingly includes his new film "Captain Phillips," based on the real life tale of Somali pirates and starring Tom Hanks, which is scheduled to open the New York Film Festival before opening wide on October 11th.

In other related rumor news, Benedict Cumberbatch's reps have shot down the "Star Wars: Episode VII" rumors, but lets face it, you were smart enough to know that was BS.

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More: Bourne 5, Paul Greengrass, Matt Damon

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  • James Smith | September 11, 2013 10:52 AMReply

    A real life story of Somali pirates starring . . . Tom Hanks?

  • Speed the plow | September 4, 2013 10:10 PMReply

    But Greengrass doesn't say absolutely never. Just not now. I have to have something to hold onto! Still hoping.

  • YeahWrite | September 4, 2013 8:49 PMReply

    Damon doesn't need Renner, and Renner doesn't need Damon to make another movie in this franchise a success. But a crossover/match up would be great for fans to see. Although I realize since Damon won't return without Greengrass at the helm, and Greengrass doesn't sound like he will ever return; that's not likely to happen. To bad for fans - if done right, it could be a great movie. Damon, Renner, Norton, Weisz - that's not a bad talent line up at all!

    Also, stories that feature soldiers enhanced by the use of drugs administered by secret government agencies - terrible premise. It will never sell.
    Right Captain America?
    Right then. It's a completely plausible concept, and in Renner you've clearly got an actor who can perform the stunts to make it look amazing. Plus, he and Weisz had a nice little chemistry going. But I do agree with the need for the story and pacing to be improved the second time around.

  • Pleasewrite | September 5, 2013 11:43 AM

    Ah, so the plot is both lame AND unoriginal. Excellent. So, I guess Gilroy really was completely out of ideas.

  • Ugh | September 4, 2013 12:57 PMReply

    Paul Greengrass & Matt Damon are forever going to be haunted with Universal making stupid "Greengrass & Damon consider a New Bourne movie" that's immediately followed by people calling them sell-outs. This has been, what, the 6th time this cycle has repeated itself?

  • jenny | September 4, 2013 2:48 PM

    Universal were far quicker shutting down this story than Damon and Greengrass. Also the press is almost always pro Damon/Greengrass and it gives their supporters yet another chance to sound off. I personally think niether camp is responsible for these reports, but it certainly gives Damon/Greengrass an ego massage. At this point I am most interested in seeing the Renner/Weisz characters developed further, beyond that I don't mind.

  • The depper | September 4, 2013 12:28 PMReply

    I guess Legacy was "surprisingly satisfying" to people who liked to see the ending of the trilogy ruined for absolutely no purpose, enjoy viewing movies about moronic pill poppers, like incredibly lame action in which a transparently silly 'villain' is dispatched with zero drama but an over abundance of pointless jargon, and the hero is, I'm sorry, about a two on the handsome scale.

  • Manny | September 4, 2013 3:55 PM

    It amazes me that anybody at the studio could think that Renner's character would ever have been appealing. To this day, I think Gilroy was trying to kill the series just to spite Greengrass. But, then, of course, he didn't have Liman or Greengrass to save him from himself. When did the studio give the OK to create a character with no special gifts within himself, who spent an entire movie running around in search of a fix? Seriously? is it Renner the meth-man?

  • bruce | September 4, 2013 1:38 PM

    I actually think Gilroy did a really good job thinking up a way of taking the story forward. Unfortunately I think he made mistakes with the pacing, which a different director would have corrected. So I am glad Gilroy is (probably) out, but I really hope they take forward the idea of performance enhancing experiments on soldiers. I never understood why people couldn't accept it. The idea of Bourne being naturally superhuman is unrealistic, but the science in Legacy is on its way in the very near future and experiments on soldiers has a long history. To me it is a facinating topic and the progress of gene therapy is going to be a big story which will run along side the films as they roll out.
    I am excited to see someone else write the next installment. I am interested to see where they take Aaron and Rachel as well as to see what if anything will transpire between him and Norton's character.
    I think Renner was great with what he had in Bourne. Renner has gotten great reviews , he has a great magnetic grace and appeal and a catlike psysicality, and I like Damon , but I realised after seeing Legacy that I had’nt miss Damon at all.

  • j | September 4, 2013 11:00 AMReply

    That's not exactly a denial from Cumberbatch. It's a denial that he's been cast - that's all.

  • Alan B | September 4, 2013 10:53 AMReply


  • Alan B | September 6, 2013 5:20 AM

    Yeah OK, for a group of commentators and writers that apparently hate me, they seem weirdly desperate to keep me in the conversation, as if it were such a fucking tragedy that they couldn't read my moniker that they just HAVE TO post as me.

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