Matt Damon almost didn’t get into the ‘Bourne world’ as he wasn’t the first choice for the role that would eventually end up becoming partly his identity. Starting with Bourne Identity, then The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and, finally, Jason Bourne the Matt Damon-led saga has turned into a billion-dollar franchise that has captivated the audience’s hearts throughout the ages.
Although the successful saga may have run its course now, here’s a look back at the spy thriller series when Damon almost got replaced by Sylvester Stallone. Although it is difficult to imagine anyone else other than him in the role, the spy drama action series wanted to go in a different direction before Damon was locked in for the deal.
Matt Damon almost didn’t get the role of Jason Bourne
The year was 2002 when The Bourne Identity burst onto the big screen, introducing audiences to the enigmatic character of Jason Bourne. Directed by Doug Liman, the film was based on Robert Ludlum’s novels and showcased Matt Damon‘s impeccable ability to embody the complex character.
Although Matt Damon has shown off his talent on the big screen in movies like Good Will Hunting, The Martian, and Ford v Ferrari, none of these projects gave him the chance to show off his action sequence-leading hero skills like some of his peers. But the Bourn movies presented him the opportunity to do so. And turns out, this was the same reason why he wasn’t the first choice for the franchise, but some of the big names such as Brad Pitt, Sylvester Stallone, and, Russell Crowe were minds of the casting crew.
Among them, Sylvester Stallone almost said yes but managing his scheduling conflicts was getting a bit much. As the man was busy with multiple projects at the time such as Eye See You, Avenging Angelo, and Liberty’s Kids: Est. 1776, all of which came out in 2002 alone. Thus, giving Damon the upper hand in the situation and an opportunity to prove everyone wrong by starring in something he hasn’t quite done before.
Why Matt Damon left the Bourne franchise and then again came back
Much like any other spy in the movie, Matt Damon in real life thought it is time he should retire from the Bourne business, but returned immediately when the world needed him the most. During that period when the actor thought the franchise was losing its charm and hype and in turn abandoned the movie series, Jeremy Renner was brought in to fill his role. The Bourne Legacy, the fourth installment of the series was a bit different from the rest due to Damon’s absence. As he couldn’t figure out the need for a fourth movie, when all of the conflicts have been resolved previously thus, decided to step aside.
But nearly after a decade in 2016, the star of the franchise returned probably for the last time to bid the character a proper farewell. Since the success of the Bourne films gave Damon a platform to further diversify his career. All the Bourne movies now can be found on HBO Max to stream.