Maybe it’s his successful post-Bourne career, or maybe it’s the middling reception of The Bourne Legacy, but Matt Damon is not interested in playing Jason Bourne again. Thank you for asking, though.
When it was announced there would be another Bourne, but minus star Matt Damon, it wasn’t met with much enthusiasm. Still, leading up to its release, The Bourne Legacy managed to muster some excitement from moviegoers hopeful that Jeremy Renner would punch and kick his way into an enjoyable movie. Sadly, The Bourne Legacy was deemed a dud upon release, leaving many hoping that Matt Damon would return to the series and give it back some dignity.
Well, Matt Damon addressed those hopes in an interview this week, and squashed them like grapes in his muscular hands.
In an interview with IndieWire concerning his upcoming film The Promised Land, Damon had this to say:
[When asked if he'd seen The Bourne Legacy] “I did see it… I think it’s going to make it harder for us to make another one. I’m just trying to figure out like… Because they used our characters, anything that happens in that world, that’s the ‘Bourne’ world now. So the pill popping and all that stuff happens.”
[When asked if he would team up with Jeremy Renner] “I don’t know what that story would be. I love Jeremy and I’m a huge fan of him and I know him personally and love him outside of work, too. But I just don’t know what that story would be. I could never see Bourne teaming up with anyone. And all he said was – he wanted out, he wanted out, he wanted out. So how do you get that character going again?”
Damon’s history with the Bourne series is complicated. particularly his experience with The Bourne Ultimatum. Tony Gilroy, writer of the Bourne trilogy and director/writer of Legacy, evidently didn’t do a very good job of writing Damon’s final installment. Here’s what he said to Huffington Post last year:
“It’s really the studio’s fault for putting themselves in that position. I don’t blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It’s just that it was unreadable. This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It’s terrible. It’s really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left.”
Damon apologized for his comments later, saying it was unprofessional of him to criticize Gilroy publicly, but he obviously isn’t jumping at the bit to return. The Bourne Ultimatum had a stressful production, with rewrites happening constantly, even in hotel rooms the night before scenes were being shot. Combine that Gilroy’s lackluster job with Legacy, and you’re looking at an unlikely return.
So where does everyone go from here? Legacy sets up a sequel, but the critical reception and box office results aren’t in favor of one. And while the future of the Bourne series doesn’t look good, Matt Damon’s is looking great. His new film Promised Land, which he also co-wrote, is getting great buzz, and his 2013 includes only one film, but it’s a big one – Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium. Damon doesn’t need a franchise to fall back on, and now that he’s shown little interest in its future, we might not be hearing “Extreme Ways” anytime soon.