We reported this news in September, but it’s now been confirmed by Matt Damon: he’s returning to the role of Jason Bourne. The actor and director Paul Greengrass were said to be in talks to return to the franchise earlier in the year, despite previously ruling out a follow-up to The Bourne Ultimatum, which did seem to conclude the trilogy very well. Damon’s departure from the franchise led to Jeremy Renner stepping in as new character Aaron Cross for 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, which did fairly well at the box office but for me was a significant step down from the Damon-starring films, some of that due to Renner, in my opinion anyway, somewhat lacking in charisma, and some of that due to a distinct lack of pace and action until the final third.
E! News recently quoted Ben Affleck as saying that Damon had inked a deal to return to the film series, leading the Jason Bourne actor to later confirm his involvement:
“We’ll shoot it] next year. 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.”
Renner has expressed interest in teaming up with Damon for a future Bourne movie.
“I think a team-up really opens up the world and it keeps Bourne’s character active”.
This is all getting a bit confusing, what with another Renner Bourne film, another Damon one, and possibly a team-up. It’s becoming The Bourne Universe, though it’s certainly a universe I’ll be happy spending more time in despite all that irritating shakycam!
Meanwhile Damon has turned down Zhang Yimou’s historical epic The Great Wall in favour of Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, a rather unusual-sounding project from the director of Nebraska and the wonderful Sideways. The geopolitical comedy drama is set in a near future in which Norwegian scientists discover a method of shrinking human beings to an eighth of their size. The method is adopted to reduce consumption and overpopulation, settling the shrunken humans in miniature cities, but slowly dire consequences emerge for big and small people alike. Payne was actually attached to this before, and Paul Giamatti, Sacha Baron Cohen, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon and Gong Li were formerly attached to it, though they haven’t been mentioned in the new report. Downsizing is yet to announce filming or release dates.