Jason Bourne fans, rejoice. Matt Damon and Julia Stiles are reportedly confirmed to make a return to the Bourne Identity movie franchise, according to a report by Deadline’s Mike Fleming, Jr.
Screenwriter/director Paul Greengrass, who captained the last two of the original Bourne trilogy, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, also returns to the series, which according to Gina Carbone of Moviefone, was all that was needed to bring Damon back to his most iconic role. Damon confirmed to E! News that Greengrass returning to the Bourne series was all he was waiting for.
“It’ll be in 2016 when the movie will actually come out. Paul Greengrass is going to do another one and that’s all I ever said. I just needed him to say yes.”
Deadline further stated that Universal, hot on the heels of the massive success of Jurassic World, is attempting to lock down Ex Machina star Alicia Vikander to appear in the film, while Variety reports that legendary film heavy Viggo Mortensen may appear as a villain.
This leaves many to wonder — what of Jeremy Renner, who, prior to becoming Marvel’s Hawkeye in the blockbuster Avengers films, assumed the helm of the Bourne legacy as Aaron Cross in Bourne Legacy when Damon left the role? While the film wasn’t quite the silver screen hit that Damon’s trilogy was, it was still successful both in terms of box office appeal and to fans of the series.
Fear not. Dirk Libbey of Cinema Blend reports that Renner will also be returning in a separate sequel of his own, and perhaps even in the upcoming Damon vehicle, citing an interview given by Bourne producer Frank Marshall to SlashFilm confirming that both iterations of the Bourne universe will exist simultaneously.
“They’re still two different projects, two different films.”
Libbey goes on to speculate as to the potential box office power of a Renner-led Bourne series, especially now given his newfound superstardom. With the return of Damon to the beloved franchise, and the potential of a separate series starring Renner, and with the obvious implications of a crossover, Universal could be poised to dominate 2016 just as they have so far in 2015.
The Bourne films, with the first, The Bourne Identity, released in 2002, put Damon on the map as a bonafide action film star. The movies are based on the original novel trilogy under the same names as the films written from 1980 to 1990 by author Robert Ludlum, which was then carried on in subsequent novels by Eric Van Lustbader following Ludlam’s death. The first of the novels by Van Lustbader was Bourne Legacy.
[Image courtesy of Comicvine]