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Production Watch: Bourne Disses Damon, Tony Scott for Top Gun Sequel, How To Reject A Movie Plot

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 25, 2010 at 4:22AM

Matt Damon says he found out about writer-director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) directing the fourth Bourne installment the same way we did - the internet. He told Parade Magazine, “I found out they’re making another when somebody saw it on the Internet. Nobody bothered to call me." Just as we suggested, he surmises: "I’m not in it, but even so, they’ll work Bourne into the title, I guess. Universal just wants to call everything the Bourne something. So I guess they are trying to make another franchise, and as they say, ‘It isn’t over until it’s over.'" Damon boxed himself into this corner by refusing to rejoin the franchise without director Paul Greengrass. Gilroy, who helped create the franchise as the writer of all the previous entries, has come up with a way to work around Bourne.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Matt Damon says he found out about writer-director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) directing the fourth Bourne installment the same way we did - the internet. He told Parade Magazine, “I found out they’re making another when somebody saw it on the Internet. Nobody bothered to call me." Just as we suggested, he surmises: "I’m not in it, but even so, they’ll work Bourne into the title, I guess. Universal just wants to call everything the Bourne something. So I guess they are trying to make another franchise, and as they say, ‘It isn’t over until it’s over.'" Damon boxed himself into this corner by refusing to rejoin the franchise without director Paul Greengrass. Gilroy, who helped create the franchise as the writer of all the previous entries, has come up with a way to work around Bourne.

Thompson on Hollywood

- Another franchise, another Tony: Top Gun 2 will be directed by Tony Scott (he helmed the 1986 original). This is yet another example of Hollywood going back to the well, and a director seeing this as the best thing the studios have to offer. (The action maestro's latest, Unstoppable, stars Denzel Washington and a runaway train; it opens November 11.) How else to explain his return to this 1980s franchise twenty-four years later? Tom Cruise may or may not return as Maverick, and fighter pilot mores have clearly changed. America's relationship to war and the armed forces are worlds away from 1986. Scott told HitFix he was inspired to return to the fighter pilot world after he sat on a plane next to a hung-over twenty-something: "He must have been in his late 20's and he was one of these kids. He said, 'I partied all night.'  And I said, 'What do you do?'  'I work [with unmanned aircraft in] the Air Force.'  But they operate these drones like it's war games, but it's for real." The film is not his next priority: it's "still a few years away," he says. "I don't want to do a remake.  I don't want to do a reinvention.  I want to do a new movie."

- Sick of franchise/remake talk? Moviefone posts the story rejection notice from Essanay Film Manufacturing Company from the years 1907 to 1925. Back then, Essanay loved originality. To be fair, it was a lot easier to reward original content when the industry was in its infancy. Number thirteen and seventeen have clearly been moved to studios' "things we love" list. Perhaps the use of this slip should be reinstated - but for studios, not just screenwriters.

This article is related to: Box Office, Directors, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Hollywood, Studios, Stuck In Love, Daily Read, Bourne, Sequel, Action, Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, Universal/Focus Features, Screenwriters


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