If the decision to hand the Jason Bourne franchise over to screenwriter Tony Gilroy—which, given his loyalty to director Paul Greengrass, seems to preclude Matt Damon’s participation—and Gilroy's drafting of a "Bourne Bible" for future knock-offs to follow has given fans any reservations that the spy series may be entering its in-name-only phase, you can now stop worrying: It has. Gilroy spoke to Hollywood Elsewhere recently to clear some things up about The Bourne Legacy, namely that although it is an original screenplay not based on Robert Ludlum’s book of the same name, it is “not a reboot or recast or prequel,” and that “no one’s replacing Matt Damon”—except for the fact that someone actually is replacing Matt Damon, because “Jason Bourne will not be in this film.” ("But what about Julia Stiles???" asks exactly no one.)
Instead, Gilroy asks that you think of it as “an expansion or reveal” that concerns “a whole new hero” and begins a “whole new chapter,” specifically one that doesn’t have to bother locking down Matt Damon but can still use the Bourne name, apparently. Adding to the confusion, Gilroy said, “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].” However, he emphasizes “this is a stand-alone project” from the rest of the series, which is probably true in the sense that it will not be greeted very enthusiastically and make way less money.
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