'We explained to them that our character isn't like James Bond,' the star says of studio's desire to re-cast Jason Bourne.
By Kara Warner, with reporting by Josh Horowitz
Earlier this year, fans of the highly successful "Bourne" franchise got some surprising news when Universal announced its plans to make "The Bourne Legacy" with or without star Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass.
Then in October, the studio announced the next installment would be written and directed by Tony Gilroy, who penned the first three "Bourne" films. MTV News caught up with Damon during promotion for his awards-favorite "True Grit," and asked the actor whether he'd talked to Gilroy about plans for the next chapter.
"I have no idea what he has planned," Damon said of Gilroy. "But he's a very smart guy, so I'm sure it's going to be good. I do know that whatever he's doing won't preclude Paul [Greengrass] and I from coming back and doing ours," he added. (It's still unclear whether Damon and Greengrass will return.)
Damon explained that what Universal wants to do with the films is build a lasting franchise — one in which other actors besides Damon can step into the lead role. Of course, Damon and Greengrass aren't exactly onboard with that idea.
"What they ultimately want is a franchise that can kind of go on and on. We explained to them that our character isn't like James Bond," Damon said. "You can't send him on a mission. There's character development, there's an arc that the character has traveled through the three movies. You don't just start over at the beginning of every movie," he continued. "So I think what they're looking for is a way to build that in so that they can continue without Paul and me eventually."
Earlier this year, Damon said he would consider stepping into Bourne's shoes again, but only if the picture was helmed by Greengrass.
"I love the character. I love the stories," Damon said. "But only if Paul Greengrass says he will direct again. So far, though, he's decided not to. I'd definitely say yes if he went for it. I know he would have a great story, and it would protect the legacy of what we created."
What do you think about a "Bourne" movie without Matt Damon? Who should play Jason Bourne? Tell us in the comments!
Check out everything we've got on "True Grit."
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