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Matt Damon in Negotiations to Return to ‘Bourne’ Franchise

Bourne Matt Damon
Universal Pictures

Just as recently as earlier this year, Matt Damon was talking that a return to the ‘Bourne’ franchise that turned him into an A-list action star was highly unlikely. But, this is Hollywood and sometimes what is completely unlikely one day (like Ben Affleck as Batman), becomes a reality the next. And so, Matt Damon is in negotiations to return for another ‘Bourne’ film along with ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ director Paul Greengrass.

Twitch is reporting that Damon and Greengrass are in talks to return, but each would only return if the other did as well. As Damon has said all along, he would only be interested in returning if Greengrass (who directly the two most successful ‘Bourne’ films) did as well, and the studio is aggressively trying to make that happen.

[UPDATE: For what it's worth, Universal tells Variety that there is no truth to the rumors of Damon and Greengrass returning. Yet, in February, Universal chairman Adam Fogelsen told Entertainment Weekly they were "excited" at the possibility of Damon returning...]

After ‘Bourne Legacy‘ opened last summer, producer Frank Marshall said that he hoped to get Damon and Jeremy Renner to co-star in ‘Bourne 5′ but Damon quickly threw cold water on that plan.

The actor told Movieline that the very existence of ‘Bourne Legacy’ made it even more unlikely that he’d ever want to do another Jason Bourne film:

Because they use our actors and characters, whatever they said [in 'Legacy'] is true and so we’d have to acknowledge it in any Bourne movie that we’d do. And that makes it really tough. I don’t think we can do the ‘Dallas’ it-was-all-a-dream scenario. I don’t think the audience would go for that after they paid money to see a movie.

Also, while on his Burning Bourne Bridges tour, Damon also said that the ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ script was “unreadable” and a potential “career-ender” for writer Tony Gilroy. Gilroy went on to not only write, but also direct ‘Bourne Legacy,’ which could make for an awkward meeting as all parties reunite to discuss an upcoming sequel.

Now, the question is whether Universal already has a plan for how Matt Damon could return as Jason Bourne or if they’re just lobbing up a Hail Mary, in the hopes that Greengrass will eventually figure it all out. And, what does this mean to Jeremy Renner, who was supposed to be the new face of the ‘Bourne’ franchise? (It’s also interesting to note that Renner was also expected to be the new face of the ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise but, as Tom Cruise preps the fifth installment, we can clearly see that too is not happening.)

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