Matt Damon is set to return to production on the fifth Bourne movie next week, which is due for release in 2016. With three Bourne films under his belt, the third of which is still his most successful career movie to date, Damon has been discussing details of the plot, revealing the film will take place in a "post-Snowden" world.
BuzzFeed reveals that Damon and director Paul Greengrass met to discuss potential ideas for a new Bourne movie once every few years. On gaps between films -- Damon starred in Identity (2002), Supremacy (2004), and Ultimatum (2007) -- the actor explained that the Bourne franchise is shaped by real-world events.
"We always looked at those movies as really about the Bush presidency, and so we kind of had to wait for the world to change."
When asked what Jason Bourne has to say in his fourth movie outing, Damon confirmed the following.
"Without giving too much of it away, it's Bourne through an austerity-riddled Europe and in a post-Snowden world. It seems like enough has changed, you know? There are all these kinds of arguments about spying and civil liberties and the nature of democracy."
Edward Snowden, who Damon is referring to, has become a dominant figure in the debate over security versus privacy across the world, primarily in Washington, Asia, and Europe. As the Washington Times archives confirm, Senator John McCain even referred to Snowden as "some kind of Jason Bourne" in 2013, in the wake of his NSA whistleblowing.
These revelations were the inspiration behind a new story for Bourne and Damon's anticipated return as the amnesic super-soldier. Bourne 5 enters production next week, with news that Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) are joining the cast. Julia Stiles is also set to reprise her role of ex-CIA agent Nicky Parsons, a role she has featured in since The Bourne Identity in 2002.
With a series of locations mooted for the film -- the Bourne franchise is famous for its global shoots -- it's clear that Damon and Greengrass have something special in mind for Jason Bourne's return to the big screen. Damon would drop a little hint, despite his reluctance to give too much away.
"We're starting in Greece, you know, the beginning of democracy. And the movie ends in Las Vegas, the most grotesque incarnation..."
The Bourne franchise currently consists of four films - The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum. Damon stepped aside for the fourth film, The Bourne Legacy, which starred Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross, a black ops agent who is exposed and put in danger by Jason Bourne's actions in the third film. Renner is still attached to the franchise and will reprise his role as Aaron Cross in the future. On a total budget of $370 million, the Bourne franchise has grossed $1.221 billion at the box office.
Bourne 5 is due for release in the UK and US on June 29, 2016.
[Images - Universal Studios]