Paul Greengrass won't direct BOURNE IV

Pre-production problems on Bourne IV escalate into near fatal proportions as the movie loses it's director!

No Greengrass, no Bourne series I'm afraid. From where I sit, Greengrass is just as integral to the Bourne franchise as star Matt Damon and without him, I see no logic in carrying on. I very much doubt at this stage of his career, with a successful trilogy that had a note perfect ending behind him, that Damon sees any logic in carrying on without him either. After all, it was Greengrass' 'French Connection for the 21st century' style direction that elevated a pretty mediocre but inoffensive crowd-pleasing summer franchise into the action series of the decade and by the third movie, moved it beyond it's genre. As good as Damon is, it's Greengrass that has made the James Bond series step up and take note, mimicking, and often downright ripping off this series to try and keep up with what Greengrass was creating here. It's unthinkable that this series would end up back in the hands of mediocre-ville. MV5BMTIxMTQ4NjEwMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTgyMTE3._V1._SX485_SY316_

The Playlist are reporting that Greengrass walked out on Bourne IV a week ago and are "shocked Finke or The Wrap didn't get wind of this yet". The movie had been in the writing stages to film fall 2010 but that would seem almost guaranteed not too happen now.

As we said last October, screenwriter Greg Nolfi returned to scribe a fourth Bourne adventure after co-scripting the last movie with Greengrass, only to be told not a year later that Universal had hired another guy, namely Josh Zetumer (he wrote a Dune remake for Peter Berg, and is year-in-year-out on the Hollywood blacklist) to write a "parallel" script for the film. The idea, presumably being that the most gripping screenplay would be the blueprint for Bourne IV, with fragments of the best ideas mashed together into one dish. It's certainly an unusual move for a studio like Universal on such a huge franchise, and The Playlist believe this is the duck that broke the camels back for Greengrass, and forced his hand into bailing... A small part of the problem? Greengrass, who has been busy toiling away on "Green Zone," was not consulted by Universal in the hiring of a new writer. This obviously did not make him happy, but that's only part of the issue that's been ongoing for some time (meanwhile, no one seems to love Nolfi's version).greenzoneempire Another point of contention is Greengrass working methods on Green Zone (12.03.10), a movie whose spiralling budget costs are nearing $150 million. ...Greengrass has reshot several times (gets expensive) and has been tinkering away in the editing room for months spending Universal's money and testing their patience. This was supposed to be a smaller movie that Greengrass made in between 'Bourne' films, something Universal let Greengrass make to keep him happy and part of the Uni/Bourne family, but you can bet when he said, "(expensive) Iraq War thriller," the studio wasn't exactly jazzed, even if Matt Damon was the star.

Going further back, "The Bourne Ultimatum" was a huge hit, obviously, but again was made in a similar fashion: very expensive and lots of reshoots because no screenplay was finished. Greengrass is now infamous for "finding the movie" or "figuring it all out" during the middle of production. As in, shooting lots of various things and letting the story naturally and organically come to the surface. He's fine with continuing that approach on "Bourne 4," but after the "Green Zone" expense, the buttoning-up of budgets across the board and the major overhead of 'Bourne 3' (that had to be a huge hit to be successful), Universal does not want to take that risk once again and the studio and director have been butting heads on that point ever since.06_bourne_lgWhat's Matt Damon's take on this? He's "loyal to Paul" which means he's likely not going to star in any "Bourne 4" film without him. Or at least not without his blessing and even then, it would have to be a spectacular script (and right now one of those doesn't exist, but Universal has been exploring other options....).The conventional wisdom is that Greengrass and Universal can kiss and make up and in a few months they could be right back at it.
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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.