Next Bourne to be a Prequel?

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Ever since Universal’s The Bourne Ultimatum became a worldwide hit, there’s been a lot of talk about whether director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon might return for another go-round. Last year, producer Frank Marshall hinted that Universal were shooting for summer 2011 for another Bourne Sequel, but over the last few months, Greengrass dropped out, and things began to look grim, because Damon only seemed interested if Greengrass returned, as we reported back in December.

While on the red carpet for the premiere of Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, Matt Damon was asked by Empire magazine about whether there’s been any status change since he was last asked about it, to which the actor responded:

“There’ll probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we do another one,” he said, “just because I think we’re probably another five years away from doing it – we’ve got to get a script…”

So this makes one think Damon hasn’t completely ruled out doing another movie, but barring a script for a sequel, Universal is looking into the possibility of creating a stopgap while keeping the franchise going by getting another director and actor to make a prequel to The Bourne Identity.

Universal has regularly produced prequels to their biggest hits, whether it was the “Silence of the Lambs” prequel Red Dragon (which was more or less a remake of Michael Mann’s Manhunter), and The Scorpion King, their prequel to the sequel of The Mummy remake. In fact, they’re currently working on a prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing, so the thought of Universal putting together a prequel to Robert Ludlum’s popular espionage series doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

Being that Greengrass and Damon are reunited for Green Zone, which Universal is releasing on March 12, one can expect we’ll be hearing more about this story in the weeks to come.

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