Ford v Ferrari, The Martian, and Good Will Hunting are just a few examples of movies that put Matt Damon’s talent on display at full brightness. The actor has achieved great heights in his career and has even received a ton of awards for his work. This includes an Oscar and two Golden Globe awards as well.
Some of his most memorable work comes from the Bourne franchise, where he played the character of Jason Bourne. However, three films in, Matt Damon bid goodbye to the franchise with The Bourne Ultimatum. However, the franchise continued on without the actor and got Jeremy Renner to lead the next film, instead. As for Matt Damon, he was hopeful that he would get to be a part of the franchise again but was uncertain how that would play out after Jeremy Renner’s takeover.
Matt Damon Thought Jeremy Renner Ended his Bourne Legacy
After successfully bringing in commercial and critical success for the first three films of the Bourne franchise, Matt Damon said his farewell to the role. This was because director Paul Greengrass took a step back from the fourth film. Damon stated that there was no way he would do another film in the franchise with Greengrass and thus, he too put a halt to his Bourne career.
Therefore, for the fourth film, The Bourne Legacy, the team brought in Jeremy Renner to play a new lead character, Aaron Cross. All this while, Damon was hoping that he would get to reprise his role in another project of the franchise but wasn’t sure how that would be possible as he believed Renner’s film shot the franchise in the head.
In an interview with Playboy (via Parade), Damon stated,
“You know what? They might have taken the Bourne series out back and shot it in the head. If that’s the end of it, that’s just the end of it. I hope not. I love the character and the three movies we did, so I’d love to figure out a way to do another one.”
In another interview, this time with Movieline, Damon stated why it wasn’t easy to come up with a plan for him to return to the franchise after Legacy.
“From what I understand, it kind of relives [The Bourne Ultimatum] from a different perspective. What that means, because they use our actors and characters, is that whatever they said [in Legacy] is true and so we’d have to acknowledge it in any Bourne movie that we’d do. And that makes it really tough.”
However, Damon’s worries were short-lived as he soon returned to play Jason Bourne once again in Jason Bourne, the fifth installment to the franchise. Not only did Jason Bourne mark the actor’s return, but it also saw the Damon-Greengrass duo reunite. Together, the five films of the Bourne franchise have grossed about $1.6 billion at the box office.
Jeremy Renner Didn’t Want to Replace Matt Damon
Contrary to what others might have thought, Renner wouldn’t have been a part of The Bourne Legacy if he had to play Jason Bourne. According to what the actor told Press Association, the main reason why he agreed to be a part of the franchise was because he was playing a different character than Damon. He added that if he had to play Jason Bourne, he simply wouldn’t have as it was Damon’s character.
“It was a yes before I even got the script, creatively, even though I didn’t know what the heck it was. I always knew it wasn’t Jason Bourne so it was something to consider. It was an instant ‘no’ if that was the case. Who wants to do that? Matt will always be Bourne.”
That was nice of him!
Taking a look at the critical success of the five films, the first three movies are rated much, much higher than the last two. Damon’s Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum have Rotten Tomatoes scores of 84%, 82%, and 92% respectively. As for Legacy and Jason Bourne, the two movies could only get a score of 55% and 54% respectively.
All five films of the Bourne franchise are available to rent or buy on Prime Video.
Source: Playboy (via Parade)