Universal Plan A Fourth Bourne Movie

With Greengrass and Damon on board

When Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon were doing the publicity rounds for The Bourne Ultimatum last year, they seemed pretty certain that the wildly successful thriller (now the winner of three Oscars – techie ones, maybe, but Oscars nonetheless) would be the last outing for the amnesiac assassin.

But there was a caveat to that – Damon said he would consider doing one if Greengrass did it; and Greengrass said that he would consider doing another one if Damon did it.

And now it looks like that may be the case, after Universal rather casually and sneakily announced plans for a fourth Bourne movie, with the director and star on board.

The announcement is tucked away in an article about Universal and its upcoming slate on Variety. ‘More recently, [Universal’s chairman, Marc] Shmuger and [co-chairman, David] Linde landed Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon for a fourth "Bourne" movie, even though the director and star seemed ready to wrap it up after three pics,’ reads the sentence in question. And after that, nothing. No more news, or any indication of where a fourth Bourne might take us – or, crucially, when.

At the moment, Damon and Greengrass – rapidly becoming one of the best actor-director teams around – are hard at work on their Universal-backed Iraq-set thriller, The Green Zone. After that, Damon starts work on Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant, while Greengrass has several things pencilled into his diary, too, including They Marched Into Sunlight.

So, it’s entirely possible that Bourne 4 might not even begin pre-production until 2009 or 2010 at the earliest. But that’s still not too early to get excited.

Or should we? After all, the Bourne trilogy is one of the best Hollywood franchises in a long while, and the two Greengrass entries in particular (Supremacy and Ultimatum) pretty much single-handedly revitalised the mainstream thriller. Do we want the dream team to risk sullying their legacy by making a fourth, or are we keen to see Jason Bourne run for his life yet again?

Readers, have your say in the comments board below. In the meantime, we’ll see if we can’t bring you any more info. One thing is for sure, though – this is unlikely to have any connection, even title-wise, with a Robert Ludlum, or Ludlum-inspired, novel.

Oh, and for more on the Universal slate, including how they’ve reacted to news that Guillermo del Toro is going to direct The Hobbit for a rival studio after they bought the rights to At The Mountains Of Madness, click here.

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