Will The Next Bourne Be A Prequel?

Exclusive: Matt Damon says it could be

While we were doing the red carpet thing at last night’s premiere of Invictus, we cornered Matt Damon and demanded that he tell us just what the HECK is going on with Bourne IV, following Paul Greengrass’ recent departure. What he told us will rock you to your very core:

“There’ll probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we do another one,” he said, “just because I think we’re probably another five years away from doing it – we’ve got to get a script…”

OK, note the word ‘probably’. Could mean all kinds of things – that Damon is engaging in pure speculation, for one. But if anyone’s going to have the inside track on Universal’s plans for Bourne, it’s David Webb himself. So… does this mean that Universal has decided to – and here comes that dread word – reboot one of their biggest franchises?

Maybe, maybe… If so, it would contradict recent whispers that tentative feelers have been put out to a major director to fill Greengrass’ shoes, but there’s no doubting the appeal of a reboot for Universal. If they plough ahead with Bourne IV, they’ll have to persuade Damon to come back - a tough call, given his very public vow to work only with Greengrass on the movie. But by rebooting, with a new director and a younger actor, the problem is solved.

And in a way, this could mean that audiences could well get the best of both worlds – they would get a prequel that shows just how bad-ass Bourne was before he became the amnesiac assassin with a conscience, and eventually get to see an older, wiser Damon reprise the role for one final time.

Of course, the plot of Bourne IV has been something of a thorny issue, with multiple screenwriters no closer to cracking the story. And Damon admits that they’re none the wiser. “If you have any ideas, call Universal,” he laughed. “They’d love for you to get in touch!”

Maybe we will… and while we’re at it, we’ll poke around some, see if there’s any truth in Damon’s suppositions.