So says Tony Gilroy, who should know, since he wrote the screenplay to “The Bourne Legacy”, the fourth entry in the successful action franchise, and has been tapped to direct it as well.
Writing in to Hollywood-Elsewhere, Gilroy laid down the facts, and just the facts:
The Bourne Legacy, for openers, [is] 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].
“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 in the first three films is the immediate trigger.”
So it’s essentially a spin-off movie to the “Bourne” films, one that won’t require Matt Damon to make a return, though if he should like to in the future, the filmmakers would be more than willing to accommodate it.
So … a “Bourne” movie without Bourne, or Matt Damon. At least, for the first one. Would you see it?