Jason Bourne is showing in theaters, breaking box office records, and renewing interest in the action hero made famous in part through Matt Damon’s unique brand of acting. As fans rush to the theaters to catch the latest installment in the franchise, Damon opens up about his hopes that Jason Bourne is just the first step in revitalizing the Bourne films. Matt also talks about what motivates Bourne in the new film and how events have changed the character in unexpected ways.
Matt Damon Hopes Jason Bourne Will Lead To More Sequels
Fans are already proving there’s still a wide interest in the Jason Bourne name with box office results already reaching $61 million, so the big question people are already starting to ask is whether or not there will be more Bourne films. When Entertainment Weekly brought the question to Matt Damon, who is also a producer on the film, the actor turned filmmaker reveals that, while there are no set plans, the success of the current film proves fans are open to more stories about the super-secret spy.
“Yeah. It’s definitely open,” the Jason Bourne star says. “If there’s a story to tell, and we think people want to hear it, then who knows?”
Damon reveals that one other stipulation of making more Bourne films requires the participation of director Paul Greengrass, who also worked with Damon on the first three films in the franchise. Mr. Damon confesses that not having Greengrass on board would definitely be a deal breaker. Matt says that Jason Bourne was the result of a collaboration between Paul and himself, so he feels the films’ quick success is a testament to how well the duo works together.
“We’re friends, so it would always come up in conversation,” says Damon. “We didn’t want to dive into one unless we could make a movie that fit in that family and felt worthy. It’s kind of deceptively tricky, and so I think we were just leery of making it look like a job that was taken on cynically by any of us. To have made three of them that we loved, it just felt like we should live well enough alone unless we could make a good one.”
Matt Damon On Reprising His Jason Bourne Character
Matt is serious when he says he’s only open to future Bourne films if there’s a good story to be told, revealing to Inquirer that The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) might have been a good end, letting Jason ride off (or, in this case, swim off) into the sunset to live a happy life. Instead, Damon says it’s more likely that he found himself haunted by personal demons and, as Jason Bourne opens, it’s with a forgotten hero left to live a tortured life.
“This time around, we see Jason living on the margins of society,” says Damon. “He’s desperate, anguished and more damaged, because he’s never really resolved things for himself.”
Matt revealed that the plot for Jason Bourne depended upon the fact that the main character was not happy and living well, which was something Greengrass also believed. If Bourne wasn’t anguished, there would be no reason for a fourth film. Matt says the whole premise of the franchise relies on one basic theme.
“It all starts with a primal conflict: ‘Who am I?’—that was the first movie.”
Mr. Damon adds that he feels the success of the Bourne films comes from the way in which the stories are relatable to audiences, and while the action is an important aspect for entertainment’s sake, Damon says it’s also important that the stories be grounded in reality. In achieving that realism, Damon says each film’s plot is torn from real news headlines, placing it within a current time frame.
Matt Damon adds that this was as much a concern for Jason Bourne as it has been for previous films in the franchise. He says it was important to focus on the current issues of security versus privacy in telling a new Jason Bourne story.
“It was revealed over the last few years that there’s been a breach in our privacy that we weren’t aware of,” says Damon. “If that is in fact necessary to protect us, it’s the kind of conversation that we need to take part in. Do we put a premium on security over our civil liberties?”
Jason Bourne is currently showing in theaters.
[Image by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images]