Universal’s Bourne, Bruno, Madness Plans

A recent Variety feature covering the future of Universal Pictures in the post-strike environment has dropped in three small but important facts worth noting.

Whereas most other studios are cutting back their content, U is doing the opposite and aims to deliver more big tentpole movies and franchises to local cinemas – an increase from around 15 to about 19 or so films per year and that’s not including its Focus and Rogue speciality labels.

One of those new films will be the return of a character that many thought was done – Jason Bourne. The article says that despite both Director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon’s stating reluctance to doing a fourth “Bourne” last year, the pair have nevertheless been signed on (it would seem recently) for another one.

Another important note is that the studio is in talks with director Guillermo Del Toro to essentially get him back in the fold. The studio not only picked up the “Hellboy” sequel, but they bought the rights to his dream project, H.P. Lovecraft’s’ “At the Mountains of Madness” in the hopes of getting it made. When word came down that he was tied to New Line’s two “Hobbit” films, the studio began to panic.

There’s also confirmation that “Bruno”, Sacha Baron Cohen’s follow-up to the wildly successful “Borat” movie, will hit cinemas later this year. The upcoming third “Mummy” movie costs a quite expensive $175 million, a settlement with Brad Pitt over the “State of Play” debacle could actually see Pitt starring in a U film in the near future, and the studio is keenly pursuing a deal with DreamWorks once its pact with Paramount expires.