Don’t expect to see Matt Damon in the next installment of the highly successful Bourne film series. Film producer Frank Marshall recently denied a widespread rumor that the film’s release had been delayed in order to allow for Damon’s return. “It’s simply not true,” Marshall told The Hollywood Reporter. “[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 preproduction now, we can’t make next summer. Therefore, it’s a wise decision to move to 2016.”
Although he played title character Jason Bourne in the first three films, Damon has not been involved in the franchise since 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum. Despite its title, 2012’s The Bourne Legacy did not feature Damon as Bourne, except in photos. Instead of following Bourne’s story, the film shifted focus to Aaron Cross, another similarly highly-skilled government operative played by Jeremy Renner. Paul Greengrass directed 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy and 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, but yielded the director’s chair to longtime Bourne co-writer Tony Gilroy for the last installment after clashing over the script for The Bourne Ultimatum.
Damon was also unhappy with Gilroy’s original script for The Bourne Ultimatum, as he made clear in an interview with GQ in 2011. “It’s just that it was unreadable,” Damon told GQ. “This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It’s terrible. It’s really embarrassing.”