Greengrass confirms exit from Bourne 4
Paul Greengrass has confirmed that he is definitely off of the fourth in the Bourne series of films, and he states that its not a disagreement with the studio, its just time to move onto a new challenge.
Although theres nothing great in the official press release other than rumour control, there is a breakdown of what the events were that led to to this point, perhaps it was to do with Greengrass decision, and perhaps not, but these are the facts.
George Nolfi, who apparently worked without credit on the last scene of The Bourne Supremacy, and also wrote The Bourne Ultimatum alongside Tony Gilroy and Scott Z. Burns, was writing the script for the fourth Bourne. However he left the project to start his directorial debut on a flim called The Adjustment Bureau and that left a gap for the role of writer on the project.
According to Variety thats where the studio decided to put a hold on what Nolfi had been working on and bring in a new writer to develop another possible script for the film. The man who came in to do that work was Joshua Zetumer.
Now thats where the rumours started about Paul Greengrass being rather unhappy with the choice of writer and leaving the project after a bit of a clash with the studio on that matter and also on the budget concerns, concerns that have proven founded on a number of his previous films where budgets have escalated during filming.
However, Paul Greengrass is clear thats not the reason:
My decision to not return a third time as director is simply about feeling the call for a different challenge. There's been no disagreement with Universal Pictures. The opportunity to work with the Bourne family again is a difficult thing to pass up, but we have discussed this together and they have been incredibly understanding and supportive. I've been lucky enough to have made four films for Universal, and our relationship continues.
Actually reading the words from Greengrass it does sound as though he is rather sad to leave the franchise, and Im sure it would have been nice to have seen his own trilogy dropped into the start of the franchise. However Im sure Universal will be happy, because they want a franchise.
Jason Bourne existed before me and will continue
Thats very true. Doug Liman directed The Bourne Identity, and if the studio really want to make Bourne a series to turn into a true franchise, theyll want to make it work with other directors, they have once already so theres no reason why it cant move onagain. Leaving Greengrass on for another film would make his mark on the franchise even deeper and stronger. So for the franchise and the studio I think it would be good.
However theres now a concern as to whether Matt Damon will remain on the franchise after Greengrass leaves. However theres already something that looks like it could keep him there, that is if he really is concerned about the franchise moving on and perhaps changing the tone of the films and the character.
George Nolfi has indeed leftto direct The Adjustment Bureau, but the interesting part of that is that Matt Damon is in that film too, and considering he has a script sitting with Universal for Bourne 4, if Damon likes working with him it could show Universal a way forward. Get Nolfi to write and direct his own script.
So although Greengrass is off there are some clear ways that the franchise could continue, and at least we might just get rid of the shaky cam.