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Tony Gilroy to direct Bourne Identity 4

Deadline New York is reporting that Universal Pictures has closed a deal with Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”) to direct a fourth installment of the popularĀ The Bourne Identity franchise. Gilroy was hired to write the script back in June of this year.

It’s unknown at the moment whether Matt Damon will reprise his role as the title character Jason Bourne, but the actor had indicated he wouldn’t return unless director Paul Greengrass — who directed Bourne 2 and 3 — was chosen to direct. That possibility fell apart earlier this year after Universal began developing the project while Greengrass and Damon were making “The Green Zone”.

I’m told that Universal plans to make the film, even if it has to replace Damon, who’d be crazy to give up his franchise character and a huge paycheck if the script is any good.

There is every reason to think it will be, since Gilroy’s writing has provided the spine for the first three pictures. Gilroy goes back to the beginning: He deconstructed a dense Robert Ludlum spy thriller down to its essence of a man who can’t remember his past, who doesn’t want to kill, but will have to in order to find out the truth. Even though some think Gilroy misfired with Duplicity with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, his Michael Clayton was superb, and he knows the Bourne franchise better than any filmmaker the studio could have brought in.