Matt Damon will return to play Jason Bourne after all. According to Deadline.com, Damon and "Bourne Ultimatum" director Paul Greengrass are set to reunite for another Bourne movie, the duo's third and the franchise's fifth overall. Universal would release this new Bourne film on July 16, 2016, a date the studio previously held for Justin Lin's "Bourne Legacy" sequel with Jeremy Renner in the non-Bourne starring role.
When reached for comment by HuffPost Entertainment, a representative for Damon directed us to Universal. The studio's representative, meanwhile, had no comment to pass along at this time. (A rep for Greengrass was contacted as well; this post will be updated if and when they respond.)
That Damon and Greengrass would come together again for the popular franchise is not a total surprise. Since "The Bourne Ultimatum" was released in 2007, Damon has often talked about how much he enjoyed playing the character and how he would do it again if the story made sense.
"I've always been open to it if Paul Greengrass is the director," Damon said to CNBC in May of this year. "We've just never been able to come up with a story. So, if any of your viewers have a story, please call Universal and submit it."
Indeed, the plot for another Bourne film has been a roadblock for Damon for quite some time.
"If you really look at the mythology of the character, we would have to figure out some reason to get him going again," Damon said to HuffPost Entertainment in July of 2012. "Because he is a guy who walked away from everything, so we just have to solve that. And Paul and I haven't been able to do it. And we really wanted to make another one; we almost were making one a couple of years ago -- and then we just couldn't crack it. Because the second we said that we'd do it, they would announce a release date and then we would be making the movie. That happened to us on the last one. We did not have a script and we had a release date. And that was just harrowing."
Damon has discussed his displeasure with the script for "Bourne Ultimatum" in the past, telling GQ that the film "took years" off his life because Tony Gilroy's screenplay wasn't completed before the film's production began. Gilroy wrote and directed "The Bourne Legacy," which focused on Renner's Aaron Cross and included events that happened in "The Bourne Ultimatum," albeit told from a different vantage point. That, too, posed a potential problem for Damon, who said in a 2012 interview with Indiewire's The Playlist that "The Bourne Legacy" would make a new Jason Bourne movie "harder" to make.
"I don't think we can do the 'Dallas' it-was-all-a-dream scenario," Damon said in a separate 2012 interview with Movieline. "I don't think the audience would go for that after they paid money to see a movie."
And yet rumors about Damon's Bourne return have circulated for the better part of the last 13 months. In August of 2013, Twitch Film reported that Universal was discussing the franchise with Damon and Greengrass. That story was soon debunked by Universal, but a similar report sprang up again in July of this year. At that time, Latino Review noted that Damon and Greengrass would reconnect for the untitled film. It looks like all those intrepid reporters were onto something.
For more, head to Deadline.com.