A long time ago in the year of 2002, a little government action-thriller was released by the name of “The Bourne Identity”. The film starred Matt Damon in the titular role and was based upon the first entry in the acclaimed series of novels by Robert Ludlum. Jason Bourne quickly became a household name and became the face of the contemporary action movie heroes. Damon continued the series starring in 2004’s “The Bourne Supremacy” and 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum” respectively with these two films under the direction of Paul Greengrass. However, the trilogy was brought to a close and neither Greengrass or Damon made any plans to continue the successful series. Damon even went as far as to say that he would only do another Bourne if Greengrass returned in the director’s seat.
Universal realized that this money-making franchise would need to continue in some fashion but without their involvement. In 2012, a spin-off film was released under the title “The Bourne Legacy” starring Jeremy Renner playing a different character in the same established universe. Needless to say the film was a massive disappointment and any plans for future installments without Damon as Bourne were quickly shelved. With four years passing, Greengrass and Damon have returned to give us “Jason Bourne” with a release coming later this month. With the hopes of the series returning to its former glory, Universal intends to keep these movies going for years to come.
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, the original trilogy revolves around Jason Bourne who awakens after being left for dead in the middle of the ocean. He has no memory of who he is or why he was there. Bourne gradually comes to realize that he was a government assassin who volunteered to be a part of a secret organization that erased his former identity. In the hopes of breaking free from his life as an assassin and starting fresh, Bourne spends his time on the run from an organization that refuses to let him leave. Although his memory is scattered, his lethal training is still very much intact.
It has been 9 years since we last saw Damon take on the role which has many wondering if another film is necessary. The trilogy ended on a high note in ’07 and it will be interesting to see if the story can continue. A notable remark from a Universal Studios’ chairwoman, the aptly named Donna Langley, stated, “Look, here’s what I think the goal is: to keep Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass doing Bourne movies till they can’t do them anymore.” Clearly Universal intends to milk the franchise for as long as they can keep the involvement of these two.
“Jason Bourne” hits theaters everywhere on July 29th. What do you guys think? Does Bourne’s return have you excited or should the series have been put to an end?