Yesterday we learned that The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass would not be returning to direct Bourne 4, and there was speculation that it was due to a rift between Universal and himself over the hiring of writer Josh Zetumer. Well a statement from Greengrass was released by Universal and in it he explained his reasons for leaving.
“Jason Bourne existed before me and will continue, and I hope to remain involved in some capacity as the series moves on,” said Greengrass in a statement released by Universal on Tuesday. “You won’t find a more devoted supporter of the ‘Bourne’ franchise than me.”
“I will always be grateful to have been the caretaker to Jason Bourne over the course of ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ and ‘The Bourne Ultimatum'”, Greengrass said. “I’m very proud of those films and feel they express everything I most passionately believe about the possibility of making quality movies in the mainstream.
“My decision to not return a third time as director is simply about feeling the call for a different challenge. There’s been no disagreement with Universal Pictures. The opportunity to work with the Bourne family again is a difficult thing to pass up, but we have discussed this together and they have been incredibly understanding and supportive. I’ve been lucky enough to have made four films for Universal, and our relationship continues.”
Variety speculate that if Matt Damon is happy with Bourne 3 writer George Nolfi, who left writing duties on Bourne 4 to direct The Adjustment Bureau which also stars Damon, then Nolfi may be a candidate to direct the next Bourne instalment. They also think that Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote Bourne 3 and directed Duplicity which starred Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, may also have a chance of directing.
Alternately, Universal could reboot the franchise. Just about every other franchise is being rebooted nowadays so there’s nothing stopping them. I’m sure they’d prefer Matt Damon to return though.