Rumor: Universal Delayed Bourne 5 So That Matt Damon Can Return


UPDATE: Bourne 5 producer Frank Marshall has dismissed this rumor, stating:

“It’s simply not true. [Director] Justin Lin is working with Andrew Baldwin on an Aaron Cross script/story that they pitched us a few months ago. I talk to Justin all the time and the script is not ready. It’s a summer movie, and if we don’t start pre-production now, we can’t make next summer. Therefore, it’s a wise decision to move to 2016.”

Sorry, Bourne fans. It looks like rumors of Damon’s return were groundless after all.


More than a few of us were surprised when Universal bumped its summer tentpole, unofficially titled Bourne 5, almost a full year, from August of 2015 to July of 2016. The reasons given included that a script (being rewritten by Andrew Baldwin) wasn’t yet finalized and that NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton was demanding a summer release date. According to Latino Review, however, Universal actually had a far more exciting reason to push the spy thriller back – Matt Damon, who starred as Jason Bourne in the first three Bourne installments but let Jeremy Renner take over in The Bourne Legacy, may be returning.

Although Latino Review credits a “deeply embedded trusted source” with this scoop, the site has a less-than-reliable track record with news like this, so take Damon’s involvement with a huge grain of salt for now. The actor just last month reaffirmed his commitment to only doing Bourne movies with director Paul Greengrass, saying:

I’ve always been open to it if Paul Greengrass is the director. We’ve just never been able to come up with a story. So if any of your viewers have a story, please call Universal and submit it. It felt like such a good way to end it the last time… But having said that, I love that character and I’d love to see what happened to him.

Latino Review makes the interesting point that Damon-less The Bourne Legacy made $276 million at the box office, but Universal has put Bourne 5 up against the fifth film in the Ice Age franchise, the last installment of which made $877 million. Why the huge show of faith? According to that site, it’s because the studio is convinced Damon’s return will allow the film to gross huge.

It’s true that Universal was a bit disappointed by the low box office numbers for The Bourne Legacy, and the studio has been very active in trying to get Damon back, so it’s definitely possible that the actor will turn up in Bourne 5. I, for one, would be very excited to see his Bourne share the screen with Renner’s Aaron Cross, who’s already set to star.

Bourne 5 opens July 15th, 2016, so we may have a while to wait until an official announcement. In the meantime though, tell us, how do you feel about Damon returning? Sound off below!