It’s being reported that director Paul Greengrass has decided not to direct Bourne 4, the next movie in the series that has featured The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum. The Playlist was the first to break the news to us and the information was later confirmed by the trades complete with a full statement from Greengrass.
Details of the departure aren’t completely clear yet, but it looks as though many different reasons came into play. First of which was Universal’s decision to bring in a new screenwriter to pen a “parallel” script when the original screenwriter became busy with another project without discussing it with Greengrass first. The other reason that the director has given is that he’s just not feeling it anymore and that he’s ready for something new. Whether this is true or if he is just extinguishing flame is anyone’s guess.
Continue reading to check out Greengrass’s full statement.
You won’t find a more devoted supporter of the Bourne franchise than me. I will always be grateful to have been the caretaker to Jason Bourne over the course of ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ and ‘The Bourne Ultimatum.’ I’m very proud of those films and feel they express everything I most passionately believe about the possibility of making quality movies in the mainstream. My decision to not return a third time as director is simply about feeling the call for a different challenge. There’s been no disagreement with Universal Pictures. The opportunity to work with the Bourne family again is a difficult thing to pass up, but we have discussed this together, and they have been incredibly understanding and supportive. I’ve been lucky enough to have made four films for Universal, and our relationship continues. Jason Bourne existed before me and will continue, and I hope to remain involved in some capacity as the series moves on.
Personally, I think this is a smart move for Mr. Greengrass and that he and Matt Damon should be doing stuff as far from that genre as possible. Rugby is a good start, I guess. It’s never made sense to me how the Bourne movies were so popular — it’s literally six hours of Damon running, driving compact vehicles, and telling people he can see them from a building across the street — and they were all based on a pre-existing series of popular books by Robert Ludlum. With this fourth film, they were actually planning on making up their own story to continue the adventures of Jason Bourne, which could have been disastrous.
Even if Damon stays on this project and a new director is hired, they can take solace in the fact that they at least worked together one more time in the upcoming film The Green Zone, which is naturally identical-looking to the Bourne series…right down to the sneaky “I’m always one step ahead of you white collar silly-heads” phone call.