The fact Universal doesn’t want to give up on The Bourne franchise is little surprise. The studio has suffered a massive string of failures, ranging from Green Zone to The Wolfman, and at the moment the Fast & Furious films is probably their biggest ongoing series, which just goes to show what a state the studio is in.
However Universal has got a problem, as while it was full steam ahead earlier this year with Paul Greengrass directing Bourne 4, Matt Damon onboard to star and Ultimatum co-writer George Nolfi writing the script, Greengrass decided against making the film, and without him Damon wasn’t interested either, while Nolfi has already left to concentrate of his directorial debut. So what to do next?
While there’s been a lot of speculation, we now have some official news, which was first revealed by producer Frank Marshall on Twitter, where he said, Tony Gilroy, the keeper of the Bourne flame, is back with us to write the treatment for #4, THE BOURNE LEGACY (incidentally he also says about the rumours Indiana Jones will be set in the Bermuda Triangle, “The rumor about INDY 5 is completely false. Nothing has changed, we are not shooting next year and still in the research phase…”).
Gilroy worked on the script for all three Bourne films, so he’s definitely the obvious choice to script a fourth, with all previous scripts, including Nolfi’s and Josh Zetmuer’s, who was hired to write a ‘parallel’ script to Nolfi’s. Deadline reports that he’s also being asked to write a Bourne bible – a document laying out the complete timline of events in the Bourne universe. However what we don’t know are any details. While Damon hinted at a possible prequel (starring someone else), the title ‘Legacy’ certainly suggests a sequel. Of course Damon or Greengrass could return, or they could try and go James Bond and re-cast the role. At the moment nobody is saying anything official.
The writing of a Bourne Bible also suggests Universal is looking at possible spin-offs, as documents like that are normally needed when a franchise gets so complicated, with events going on all over the place, that people need a central document so that they don’t accidentally contradict the established story.