No Matt Damon or Jason Bourne character in THE BOURNE LEGACY

The will he/won't he question over whether Matt Damon will return to lead 'The Bourne Legacy' has categorically been answered today. HE WON'T!Tony Gilroy ('Michael Clayton', 'Duplicity'), who we found out a few days ago would direct the next installment of Universal's top franchise, told Hollywood Elsewhere this morning that the Jason Bourne character is not part of his screenplay that marks the beginnings of a brand new series. I guess the way to imagine it is if the James Bond movies were centered on another agent, say 005 instead of 007, when Sean Connery was replaced by George Lazenby in the late 60's. Gilroy says; "This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one's replacing Matt Damon. There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter...this is a stand-alone project". Though of course somebody IS replacing Matt Damon as it's clear 'The Bourne Legacy' will now be the focus of this franchise for the near future and not the previous trilogy. Well as long as this endeavor becomes a financial hit anyway. Gilroy explained further;
"The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal... Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he's very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for what happens. I'm building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy...the world we're making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne's return . "Everything you saw in the first three films actually happened, and everyone who got into will be rewarded for paying attention. We're going to show you the bigger picture, the bigger canvas. When you see what we're going and see what we're doing it'll be pretty obvious....but Jason Bourne's actvities in the first three films is the immediate trigger."
So basically... same universe and continuity, but it's going to be a completely new character (probably another Treadstone agent). I.E. - a way to reboot the saga and continue making money from the 'Bourne name' without dismissing everything that has gone before. It's just a shame for Universal that this series hasn't got the generic title of a 'Mission Impossible' or 'Die Hard' where switching the main character wouldn't affect the title - because we just wonder what the public perception to a 'Bourne' movie without Jason Bourne actually in it, will be. Now we would of course all prefer 'Bourne 4' with Matt Damon reprising the title character but hey, they clearly couldn't get him back without previous helmer Paul Greengrass, so this seems to be the best, and most inoffensive option moving forward. Wouldn't you say? Though the title must change, clearly.

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.