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Jason Bourne: Universal wants Matt Damon to do Bourne films until he dies

'Even though Matt and Paul had been very definitive about not wanting to come back, we weren’t really willing to submit to that'

Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in the fifth movie in the franchise
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in the fifth movie in the franchise

Director Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon have always been attributed as the key ingredient to the Bourne trilogy's success; really, it's no surprise the Jeremy Renner-fronted Legacy film failed to ignite, and even less of a surprise Universal would go sniffing around in hopes of securing the pair's return.

And, though the pair had previously insisted they were uninterested in a return, something down the line appears to have changed; with Greengrass attributing changing political atmospheres for his decision to take on a fourth installment, Jason Bourne.

Damon, however, seems to provide a more generous reason for his return; that it was simply because the people demanded it. "At a certain point, I said to Paul, 'People really want to see this movie, and that’s not something to turn our noses up at,'" he told The New York Times. "Having made movies that didn’t find an audience, I didn’t want to thumb our nose at this opportunity."

Whatever the motivation, Universal are predictably delighted. Like a desperate cat, the studio's digging its claws into the duo for as long as physically possible. "Even though Matt and Paul had been very definitive about not wanting to come back, we weren’t really willing to submit to that," Universal Pictures chairwoman Donna Langley joked. "Look, here’s what I think the goal is: to keep Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass doing Bourne movies till they can’t do them anymore."

However, as many franchises have lived and died by, it's not merely a case of repeating past glories intact. "It’s this weird thing where you can’t give them exactly the same thing, or they’ll be resentful," Damon said. "But you have to give them enough of something they recognize that they feel like they’re getting what they paid for."

Jason Bourne Clip - Heather Calls Bourne

For one thing, it looks as if the new film will drive to be more action-orientated than its predecessor, with the revelation that Damon's Bourne has approximately 25 lines in the entire film, preferring to converse with his fists instead.

Jason Bourne hits UK cinemas 29 July.

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