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Confirmed: Matt Damon won’t star in fourth Bourne Identity film; But he could still play Jason Bourne again

A little clarity to the recent news that Tony Gilroy is directing a fourth installment in The Bourne Identity franchise without the character Jason Bourne (who was played by Matt Damon).

Gilroy’s take on the property, The Bourne Legacy, will remove the focus from Jason Bourne and instead expand the franchise mythology, according to Deadline:

He’s creating new characters and will tell a different story about the parent company behind the murderous shadow government operation Treadstone, which brainwashed covert agents like Bourne and turned them into ruthless killers. I’m told the new protagonist will be another agent and probably a killer who went through experiences similar to Bourne’s or the character played by Clive Owen in the original Bourne. The plot accepts everything that has happened in the trilogy and factors it into the storyline.

This is actually good news for fans of the franchise because in addition to opening up the mythology, it also opens up the possibility for Damon to return for at least another go at the character Jason Bourne.  Here’s what Gilroy had to say about the project and the choice to move forward on this installment without Damon:

Gilroy feels the loss of Damon. “Matt was completely not an option, and personally I couldn’t imagine trying to replace him. All the conspiratorial politics aside, these are very un-cynical, honest movies, and I don’t know another actor who brings more integrity and dignity, and a lack of cynicism to his work than Matt.” So Gilroy didn’t even try to replace him. “I’m not going to get into the plot, but you saw the other three films, you know everything that happened, and it’s not a dream sequence. What I can say is, you thought that was the whole world, but it was a small piece of what was going on. Ultimatum exploded at the end with people arrested. We deal with that as a reality, it has ramifications that echo out into the larger world. And of course, Jason Bourne is still alive and out there in the world. I don’t want to go beyond that, because the last thing I need is for every blogger to be second guessing.”