The “Green Zone” junket was at the weekend and with both Matt Damon and his “Bourne Supremacy” and “Bourne Ultimatum” director Paul Greengrass in attendance, the inevitable question came up about their departure from the franchise and Universal’s planned prequel/reboot.
Greengrass tells Coming Soon that the decision he made last Fall to leave the franchise didn’t come without a lot of careful thought – “When I was honest with myself last Autumn, and I was starting to get going on other things, you just come to a point where you realize you’ve done it. You don’t have anything more to contribute to a franchise that needs to continue obviously, and in order to continue, a franchise needs to be rebooted and reenergised by new perspectives. I just felt that I’d done it, and there’s nothing unnatural about that. To make a film, it’s 19 months of your life seven days a week, 20 hours a day, you’ve got to have real… and there were just too many other things that I was interested in.”
He also denied any talk of a dispute with the studio, saying “I felt like I’d had a wonderful, wonderful time, I loved it and I want it to continue. In the end, contrary to reports, there was never an argument with the studio of any kind at all. I did spend some time thinking that I might (do it) and getting myself to a place of ‘what would it be?’ and it’s only when you do that where you find, ‘You know what? I’m gone. I’m onto other things.’ I explained (it) to them. We had a very nice discussion – they were completely understanding – and I said ‘We’ll make some other movies.’ They said ‘Excellent.'”
Damon meanwhile talked more about the possibility of what Universal could do with the franchise and still holds out hope for an eventual Damon/Greengrass reunion – “I think they have a good way to do a prequel with someone else, and basically make it about the Bourne identity, the actual identity…I think what we could do is that you can do some movies with another actor… and he’s Jason Bourne, and at the end of his one or two or three movies, you see them getting ready to pass the identity onto me, so it just becomes like a 007, it becomes the name that they give this certain person who is uniquely positioned. So then if Paul and I come back and do a fourth one in ten years, we’ll pass it onto someone else and then the thing can kind of go on.”