For more than half a century, one of the most beloved and iconic franchises in the Hollywood industry has been the 007 franchise with the main protagonist being the ionic MI6 superspy, James Bond. But when it comes to spy films, the other major player in the game is none other than Matt Damon’s classic Bourne franchise.
While the series may not have such a rich heritage and legacy as the Bond series of films, the cultural impact of Damon’s character has been tremendous, to say the least. In fact, the franchise became such a heavy hitter in the industry that the 007 series had to rethink its approach to the character, which ultimately brought Daniel Craig into the picture.
How Matt Damon’s Bourne Series Became A Wake-Up Call For The 007 Franchise
Ever since the first film was released back in 1962 with the legendary Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No, the entire 007 franchise has become the staple for spy action film lovers since it is the franchise that virtually originated the entire genre. But then, in 2002, Matt Damon became the face of Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity, which subsequently gave rise to the iconic Bourne franchise. And with the expansion, the success that followed became a signal to the Bond films that it was time to step their game up.
In a past interview with Empire, Paul Greengrass, the director behind three of the five Bourne films commented on how bringing the Good Will Hunting star to the role of the superspy was an indicator for Eon Productions to bring out a more ruthless and savage version of James Bond as opposed to the more humorous and campy versions in the past. This led to the selection of Daniel Craig as the next Agent 007 in 2006’s Casino Royale, which became a turning point for the entire franchise. Greengrass said:
“To be clear, whatever my feelings expressed then towards the character, they were not expressed towards the franchise. Good for them. It’s interesting that when Jason Bourne came on the scene, I think it was a bit of a wake-up call for James Bond. But my word, how well they’ve responded since. So fair play to them – they shoved my comments down my throat!”
Just goes to show that the right situations can teach old dogs some new tricks after all, or in this case, force them to learn some new tricks.
What Is The Bourne Franchise About?
One of the most popular and iconic spy action franchises in the world, the Bourne series tells the tale of a man named Jason Bourne, who finds himself in an Italian fishing boat after being rescued at sea. But when he wakes up, he finds out that he remembers nothing about himself or his past life before waking up.
But what he does find out is that he has extraordinary strength and similar high specs when a couple of men are sent to attack him. Now, determined to find answers, he sets off on a journey to know who and what he is.
The Bourne Identity, streaming on Prime Video.