Paul Greengrass Quits Bourne 4 Over Problems With Universal

November 30, 2009
Source: The Playlist

Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass

More problems with Universal, go figure, that studio is in the worst condition possible. And this isn't going to help. The Playlist is reporting that director Paul Greengrass has "quit" Bourne 4 over issues with the studio. It's a long and elaborate story but to sum it up, basically Greengrass wasn't happy that they hired a new screenwriter to develop a parallel script. And Universal isn't happy with Greengrass because he went way over budget on Green Zone and is apparently still spending money editing that. And because Universal is a bit finicky with their money right now (and are in desperate need of a huge hit), everything fell apart.

To make matters worse, apparently Matt Damon is loyal to Greengrass, and that may cause problems like how Dick Cook leaving Disney made Johnny Depp weary of returning for more Pirates of the Caribbean movies. They also say that Greengrass walking away is just a "typical Paul move" and that there's a chance they could work things out and he could be back on board in a few months. Obviously Universal didn't want this news to get out, but now it's out there and now it's going to be on our minds from this point forward. And if Greengrass doesn't return, who else can they get. Will the franchise be ruined by another director?

We've been hearing bits and pieces about Bourne 4 since the moment The Bourne Ultimatum hit theaters in 2007. Originally they hired George Nolfi, who helped write Ocean's Twelve as well as Bourne Ultimatum, to start writing a Bourne 4 script. Then in August of this year, after years of stagnant development and a script no one liked, Universal separately hired Josh Zetumer, another up-and-coming writer, to write a "parallel" Bourne 4 script. That decision got under Greengrass' skin and now he's walking away. Now that this news is out there, the studio will probably say something, but it won't be the real truth like The Playlist is reporting.

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He went over budget on Ultimatum too. I guess Universal doesn't like repeats of that kind.

FLIOPAKK on Nov 30, 2009


they probably told him he couldn't shake the camera anymore. thank goodness.

chris on Nov 30, 2009


Hmmm, they're having trouble coming up with a good script huh? If they hadn't deviated so completely from the books I'd feel bad for them. I love the books and liked the movies well enough, but by completely rewritting the story arc they don't have any material left for a 4th. Half the characters they killed off in the movies are VERY important to the entire Bourne series. His wife, CIA boss Conklin, his shrink, his arch-nemesis, all dead or missing from the movies. I like the series, but whatever they come up with for a 4th movie will be pulled completely out of thin air.

AJ on Nov 30, 2009


That's a bummer. I was very much anticipating Bourne 4 with all the key players returning.

whomever on Nov 30, 2009


Get Doug Liman back. Identity is the best of the three...

RPD on Nov 30, 2009


No, work things out with Greengrass. No greengrass or damon would suck.

jake the snake on Nov 30, 2009


I'm with 5. My thoughts exactly when I saw this. Doug Liman's rocked.

Hercie on Nov 30, 2009


without greengrass bourne would suck

samuel j on Nov 30, 2009


#5 and #7, glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks the first movie is the best of the trilogy. We seem to be in the minority, though... 😉 Basically, my feelings are that it's rare to have a series of films where all three of them turn out well. Trying for a fourth does feel a bit like pushing their luck. I'd leave it alone rather than tarnish people's memories of the existing movies. There isn't anywhere left to go with the story, really, which is probably why they are having so much trouble getting a script together.

Mathieu on Nov 30, 2009


They plan to shoot the next film inside a giant tumble dryer. Extreme shaky cam with 1 sec edits. It will be radically awesome.

loci on Nov 30, 2009


imagine universal getting a new Bourne just to complete the movie. I wouldnt be the least bit surprised looking at the state of holy-shitstorm-woods.

ramez on Nov 30, 2009


Out of them all The Bourne Supremcy is the best, IMO...and if greengrass and damon are out then I'm out, old man, I'm out.

xerxex on Nov 30, 2009


number 10!! hahahahahahahaah...lololololo!!!!!

Victor on Nov 30, 2009


Why don't they hire Pablo Marijuana from Tijuana, I hear he's the next Alfonso Cuaron.

Victor on Nov 30, 2009


#5 Are you kidding? Sure Identity was a great start to the series, but Ultimatium shits all over it. No Greengrass means no Bourne!

Last Son on Dec 1, 2009


#15 - Ultimatum has more action but less tension. Damon and Potente were awesome...

RPD on Dec 1, 2009


Doug Liman! The first was indeed the best of the three, I'll never forgive universal for killing Marie and shitting on the books 🙁 No more shaky cam!

el on Dec 1, 2009


I'm sorry but the way Paul Greengrass directs his films is too intellectual for me. I can't understand documentaries either. I feel I have to think too much. Please please find a director who explores his shots in a motionless way and lets them explode in our face. I really believe that Michael Bay is up to the task. He completely understands what it is that makes Jason Bourne tick. He will be great for a Bourne movie.

MajesticXIII on Dec 1, 2009


MajesticXIII - Ah, a master of irony at work there! Well done. There is a middle ground between Bay and Greengrass you know, and shaking the camera constantly isn't the only way to make action dynamic. In fact it is often the lazier approach - it can be somewhat counter-productive when the audience can't see what the hell is going on and who is doing what to whom. I see no reason why they couldn't find another good, bright director to take over, but I also don't see why they should bother. The three films are fine as they are and they should leave it at Ultimatum. I imagine that it is just a bargaining tactic by Greengrass to get more control over the project, but considering how big the last two were you can't blame him for that. He's earned a bit of freedom, even if what he does with it isn't to everyone's taste.

Phoenix on Dec 1, 2009


Phoenix - i agree with you. 3 Bourne films are just fine. Let's see what the future holds for the 4th, if that does happen. ConcerningGreengrass, i strongly believe that it's his directing & editing style that made Bourne who he is today. And why's that? Because the way Bourne thinks, moves and executes can only be captured in a documentary style. This is what Greengrass brought to these 2 films. He revealed in camera Jason Bourne's character and behavioral patterns.

MajesticXIII on Dec 1, 2009


I'm with MajesticXIII and xerxex on this. Greengrass made the Bourne films work, and without him, the final product just wouldn't be up to snuff. Plus, I too thought Ultimatum was a good enough end to the series, so why mess with a good thing? With the way Universal's been acting, I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't around come this time next year. They've managed to alienate most of the talent that worked with them in the past, and all their attempts at pinching pennies only makes them look greedy and short-sighted. If Greengrass is smart, and I'm pretty sure he is, he should take up business with Warner Bros. That seems to be the ONE studio that doesn't regularly shaft their talent.

Corran Horn on Dec 1, 2009


Stupid movies based on books. So hard to come up with an original script! Only i there was a story already you could use and that if there was one, you didn't have to completely destroy it and try to be original with a story that isn't. Is it that hard to write a movie based on a book? I guess if you all you use from the book are characters and...characters.

Tra la la la la di da on Dec 1, 2009

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