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?
Reader Feedback - 20 Comments
You can't really compare the Bourne movies to the Bourne books. The only thing that is really the same is that Bourne suffers/suffered from amnesia. But everything else is pretty much completely different. Even Marie's name is different as is how they meet. So to say that there were only 3 books written is pointless. They can always come up with more storyline for Jason Bourne and I hope they do. I think that the movies have been terrific so far and would love to see Matt Damon get back into his ass kicking mode. And please, don't read the 4th Bourne book that was NOT written by Ludlum. Besides the main character being Bourne, it is completely against what Ludlum wrote and isn't even well written. I refuse to read the new 5th book that the author just came out with for that reason. Read Ludlum's Bourne book and leave it at that. Just my opinion.
AT on Dec 6, 2007
While I'd love to see more Bourne movies, I think it's been perfectly wrapped as-is. If the writer/director/actors/producers were to start a new adventure, with a new character, and a completely different story, that would be more than welcome. But the Bourne series is perfect. Leave it be. Don't dilute it.
Phil on Dec 6, 2007
I dunno. Both Alex and AT make very good points. Part of me says leave Bourne alone and don't risk creating an absurdity (think James Bond in Die Another Day), but the other half says, done properly, a Bourne franchise could really kick ass (think Casino Royale). I guess I'll just trust in the good judgement of Matt Damon to recognise a good script.
Nathan on Dec 6, 2007
nathan I completely agree, there is a part of me that is cringing at the idea of a new Bourne, it could be because i loved it so much that I'm afraid they will ruin the franchise and the legacy. Theres another part of me that wants more for a simple reason... matt damon as jason bourne kicks complete ass. I almost don't want the fun ride to end...I'm torn
kevin on Dec 6, 2007
I would like to see the Bourne movies go out on a high, with "Ultimatum" the closing chapter of the Bounre's story. It ended so perfectly, why ruin it? Hollywood smells franchise dollars, I guess... (BTW, it's "Raiders of the Lost Ark", not "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark".) 😉
avoidz on Dec 6, 2007
The Movies Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum are all about Bourne choosing to leave that life behind, closing down Treadstone and Blackthingy to force a "leave me alone" policy so that he can move on from that life. For the character to choose to turn around and continue that life is contradictory and would undermine the basis of the character and lose any sympathetic connection the viewer might have with him. To engineer the same situation again such that he is again required to shut down operation X/clear his name would be tired in another Bourne ??? Clemency ??? It was a great trilogy (hold the fucking camera still!!) but let it go. I read "franchise" I read "cash-cow/rip-off/suck the punters in and steal their money". Mr. Studio Producers - change your language when taking to your customers. Dr.D
Dr.Duvel on Dec 7, 2007
Yeah, Bourne gets it on with Nicky Parsons this time and is to track down the mastermind behind the 911 treachery. All they have to go on are the initials D.C. The story leads Bourne into his toughest 'assignment' yet as he becomes hunted by the entire U.S. administration led by members of the Illuminatti who fear for the collapse of the matrix they've built up over generations.
Ted on Dec 8, 2007
If the standards for what constitutes a "great script" are the same as "Bourne Ultimatum," I definitely think they shouldn't proceed any further with the series. While Ultimatum "wrapped things up," I wouldn't preface that by saying neatly. It was the only mediocre film of the series, and truly unnecessary. Bitching aside, I think a good enough writer could take the Bourne character and make another great movie. However, I think what Hollywood action films continue to miss is what makes Bourne great - action that seems somewhat accessible and, barring a brief moment here or there, plausibility. "Casino Royale" embraced this, especially in the opening foot chase. But the rest seemed to go for Hollywood spectactle, which to me is far less exciting than believing that the action could actually happen. Mostly, though, I'm just bummed that GI Joe has been placed in the hand of the guy who did Pirates instead of the minds that made Bourne. Instead of it being a great action film, it'll be a silly, far fetched action film with sci-fi elements that'll be more "Batman & Robin" than "Batman Begins."
David Markland on Dec 9, 2007
Actually the title was changed, and according to Lucas is now: "Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark."
Henry Jones Jr. on Dec 11, 2007
@Henry Jones Jr. (aka, Indiana - I know, we named the dog "Indiana"). And also according to G. Lucas, Han shoots first 😛 For fans of the original Indy adventure, like me, it will always be "Raiders". Besides, it's just the packaging that proclaims "Indiana Jones and the..."; I'm sure Spielberg didn't want his titles changes, and they aren't in the remastered DVD 🙂
avoidz on Dec 12, 2007
I havent read the books but i have watched every movie religiously. i dont think there is anything else worth telling about jason bourne. i would love to know more about the relationship between him and nikki but i do not believe it has enough warrent to make a 4th installment.
lesper4 on Dec 19, 2007
A fourth Bourne movie could easily be based off the premise of the 'Bourne Supremacy' book, by having an impostor assassin show up, making kills and doing so in the name of 'Jason Bourne'. Make the CIA track down Bourne and get him to come back, if only to stop this impostor. This time, Damon's character can be the one hunting the assassin, instead of being hunted. Could even steal the plot from the book where the CIA kidnaps Webb's girl, making it as if the impostor did so, just to motivate Webb.
Jake on Dec 29, 2007
@ Jake: I don't know if I'd want to see the ol' "dragged out of retirement for one last mission" script again, but it's an interesting idea nonetheless 🙂
avoidz on Dec 29, 2007
I'm dying fir a fourth Bourne movie!!!Please make another one
BboySlam on Apr 24, 2008
there has to be a 4th bourne cause i want to know what that woman in the 3rd one what relationship she had with bourne....cause she said "you really don't remember" to bourne
Owen Ring on Jun 3, 2008
i thought they were a couple prior to him entering the program
Loren on Jun 4, 2008
Good news for those who think there should be a 4th movie! It's official now and listed on IMDB website: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000354/ It's release date is currently set for 2010.
Yucel on Aug 27, 2008
I always thought a prequel to The Bourne Identity would be a good idea, I know that Ultimatum gave us most of it but I would like to see his military training, the time he decides to go to the CIA and the build-up to his first mission, I think they could really do something there. It would also give us a totally new character, it seems that before he lost his memory he was a ruthless assassin which is not what he wants to be in the current trilogy.
Kaiser on Aug 31, 2008
The only film to follow the books was the first one, and that had liberties taken! The second 2 films, while great entertainment were not accurate depictions on the books - so why not have a 4th? I thought that the weak ending to Ultimatum gave great room for at least one follow-up. Tie up the suggested loose ends between Nicky and Jason - sister, Wife? Plenty of life left in an action packed series - nothing to do with the books but good entertainment!
Tony Brearton on Dec 11, 2008
There has to be a sequel! He swims off in the water still not having come in from the cold (as in another mission not having to be rescued like before), the other CIA chick who said "you really don't remember" smiles so big when she hears his body was never recovered and she is still out in the cold, and this "South American" Carlos guy from all the background material is still alive. A few plots to explore don't ya think?
W.V. on Jan 12, 2009
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