The Bourne Continues? Producer Frank Marshall Confirms
Frank Marshall is a super-producer. He's produced everything from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, to Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, to Hook, to The Sixth Sense, and most recently, The Bourne Ultimatum. Up next on his slate is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Jurassic Park IV, but the most interesting update he provided to Coming Soon recently was in regards to the Bourne franchise. The Bourne Ultimatum wrapped up things quite neatly over the summer, but it's immense success means that Hollywood doesn't want to leave Bourne once and for all just yet.
The books that the Bourne films are based off of, written by Robert Ludlum, are a complete trilogy ending with Ultimatum. Although the essential story of Jason Bourne discovering who he is, how was created, and figuring out what his life was like before the CIA scooped him up, was all tied up neatly in Ultimatum, the idea of continuing the adventures of Bourne, similar to James Bond, could be feasible. When asked about the franchise and continuing it, Frank prefaces what he's about to say with, "There were only three books written. I know they've written a fourth but it wasn't written by Ludlum."
But that won't stop Hollywood! "Look, we would love to continue the franchise. We just need a great story, and we're not going to do it unless we have a great story, but we are working on coming up with one, and Matt [Damon] said to me, 'Look, you hand me a great script, I'm in.' Unfortunately, we're not able to do any writing at the moment, but we're all thinking about it."
So will the Bourne franchise continue? The answer is almost the exact same as with Spider-Man 4 or Pirates of the Caribbean 4: yes it will, IF there's a story worth telling. The good news is that Matt Damon is definitely in, with the right script, and that's essential for keeping the fans interested. I know I wouldn't be too excited if they replaced Damon in Bourne 4, as he's the one who has defined the character perfectly.
This brings up the question everybody has to ask: Is it really necessary? Would it even be good? For once I'm going to fight for the "other side" and say that they really shouldn't go any further past Ultimatum. I'm a supporter of continuing the Saw series or Spider-Man or Pirates of the Caribbean, but the Bourne trilogy was about telling the story of Jason Bourne trying to figure out who he is. It came to the perfect conclusion and the perfect end in Ultimatum. So much so that it warranted the only listing from 2007 in EW's Perfect Movie Endings. It was a satisfying completion to one of my favorite action trilogies of all-time - so why destroy that satisfaction by continuing again?
What do you think about the Bourne franchise? Should they end it with Ultimatum or continue with more, even with Matt Damon?