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Tony Gilroy’s The Bourne Legacy WON’T feature the character Jason Bourne

Director/screenwriter Tony Gilroy was recently announced as the director of Universal’s The Bourne Legacy (see original story here), but the director felt that the original story wasn’t completely accurate so he called in to Hollywood Elsewhere with some notes and corrections.

The most important bit of information revealed was that the film will oddly NOT feature the character Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon in the original trilogy):

The Bourne Legacy, for openers, has simply taking the title from Robert Ludlum’s book “but will not use the story,” Gilroy says. “It’s a completely original screenplay.” Secondly, “This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one’s replacing Matt Damon. There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter…this is a stand-alone project.

“The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal,” Gilroy says. “Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he’s very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for what happens. I’m building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy…the world we’re making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne’s return [down the road].

I don’t like this idea at all. You can’t have a ‘Bourne’ film without Jason Bourne. This just sounds like a cheap way for Universal to get another installment out of the popular franchise by bypassing any involvement from Damon and Paul Greengrass (who directed Bourne 2 and 3). Here’s some more from Gilroy:

“Everything you saw in the first three films actually happened, and everyone who got into will be rewarded for paying attention. We’re going to show you the bigger picture, the bigger canvas. When you see what we’re going and see what we’re doing it’ll be pretty obvious….but Jason Bourne’s actvities [sic] in the first three films is the immediate trigger.”