The Bourne franchise, at least with Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass (Green Zone, Bourne 2 and 3, Flight 93, Bloody Sunday, The Theory of Flight), seemed to be on permanent hold (until, of course, the inevitable reboot with a younger actor and a different director), but that might not be the case anymore. Deadline broke the news earlier today that screenwriter-director Tony Gilroy (Duplicity, Michael Clayton) has signed on to write a treatment for a fourth entry in the Bourne Franchise, tentatively titled The Bourne Legacy.

When The Bourne Ultimatum came out, Damon and Greengrass made it clear that they were done with the franchise. The trilogy completed, the circle, closed, etc., etc., etc., but with Damon and Greengrass' last film, Green Zone, a fictionalized take on the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in post-war Iraq (circa 2003), a bomb (no one, regardless of their political beliefs wanted to see anoother Iraq War-set film, at least not yet), Damon, and possibly Greengrass, may revisit the Bourne franchise one(?) last time.

With the Bond franchise also on hold until MGM's precarious financial situation gets resolved (and who knows when that will happen), a fourth Bourne film may not be such a bad idea. But does the world, as in the movie-going public, need, or to be less hyperbolic, want another Bourne film? That's the question of the hour. Here's my take on it.

My initial reaction then, as in after I walked out of The Bourne Ultimatum several years ago, was that no, we didn't need to see Bourne again in our multiplexes. While Matt Damon, Doug Liman, the director of The Bourne Identity, and later Paul Greengrass, reinvigorated the action genre through a purposeful emphasis on unglamorous locations, close-quarters combat (minus CG or wire work) that was both brutal and cathartic, impressively staged chase scenes, convoluted plots that harked back to the better political conspiracy films of the 1970s (e.g., Three Days of the Condor, The Parallax Conspiracy, The Conversation), and, of course, a taciturn, laconic Damon in the title role, the Bourne franchise was top-notch commercial filmmaking.

Through three films spread out over six years (2002, 2004, 2007), Bourne methodically worked his way up the bureaucratic ladder, not of success, but of several super-secret, government-funded, black-ops groups. In between (and sometimes during) the action, Bourne loved and lost (Fanke Potente), and found another potential romantic partner (Julia Stiles). At the end of The Bourne Ultimatum, Bourne was loose again, presumed dead, relatively free to restart his life.

That opinion hasn't changed in three years.

Setting aside the monetary and career-related reasons for Damon and Greengrass returning to the Bourne franchise, what was/is left for the character? Will or should The Bourne Legacy follow the same template as the earlier films or break away from that template? Hopefully Gilroy can and will answer these questions as he develops the fourth film, but what do you think? Do you want to see another entry in the Bourne franchise? If so, why?
CATEGORIES Action, Cinematical