Tony Gilroy Heads Back to Bourne Franchise for #4

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Producer Frank Marshall keeps busy on Twitter and he has today announced The Bourne Identity, Supremacy and Ultimatum screenwriter Tony Gilroy has returned to the franchise to write The Bourne Legacy, the fourth film in the action franchise that has, to this point, starred Matt Damon as the amnesia inflicted super-spy Jason Bourne. Deadline also reports the news adding Gilroy’s also writing what studio insiders are calling the “Bourne Bible,” which should be thought of as something keeping the franchise together should other writers come aboard and should the franchise continue beyond four films.

Gilroy co-wrote The Bourne Ultimatum with Scott Z. Burns and George Nolfi and Nolfi was originally set to pen the fourth film when Marshall told IESB.net, “I think [Bourne’s] headed down south. I think he’s headed to South America.” However, Nolfi’s script didn’t make the grade and Josh Zetumer was brought in to write what was described as a “parallel script” at which time Universal told The Hollywood Reporter, “Our hope is that Nolfi, a key member of the ‘Bourne’ team, will return after he is done with The Adjustment Bureau.” It would appear neither take excited Universal execs.

Despite having the same name as Eric Lustbader’s recent book, The Bourne Legacy will not follow the book’s plot. Instead Gilroy will look at both Nolfi and Zetumer’s scripts, incorporate what he likes and add his own touches reports Heat Vision.

Expectation is to have The Bourne Legacy ready for a 2012 release, but who will direct and will Damon be back to star?

Paul Greengrass directed the last two Bourne films and has since said he’s done with the franchise and Damon has said he’ll only return if Greengrass does, which also led to speculation the fourth film would be a prequel.

Damon’s slate currently involves Liberace and Contagion, both for Steven Soderbergh. Will he be interested in fitting one more Bourne feature into his schedule? Would he be stupid not to?