It has been almost a decade since we last saw Jason Bourne on the big screen and we’re more than ready to welcome Matt Damon back in his iconic role when “Jason Bourne” hits theatres this week.
The 5th instalment of the Bourne franchise and the sequel to “The Bourne Ultimatum” will see the titular character coming out of the shadows and ready to kick some serious butt. For those wanting to see some gun-slinging and face-smashing fighting routines, you’re in for a treat.
Directed by Paul Greengrass, who also previously directed “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum”, Bourne – or should we say David Webb – is struggling to come to terms with his current predicament during his pursue in Greece and Las Vegas.
The plot is as follows:
“It’s been almost 10 years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) walked away from the agency that trained him to become a deadly weapon. Hoping to draw him out of the shadows, CIA director Robert Dewey assigns hacker and counterinsurgency expert Heather Lee to find him. Lee suspects that former operative Nicky Parsons is also looking for him. As she begins tracking the duo, Bourne finds himself back in action battling a sinister network that utilizes terror and technology to maintain unchecked power.”
In order to prep you up for the movie, here are some fun facts about Matt Damon’s “Jason Bourne”:
1. Damon wasn’t the first choice to play Bourne
Fresh off from starring in “Good Will Hunting” and “The Legend of Bagger Vance” in the early 2000s, the actor’s physic didn’t actually scream “ripped killing machine”. In fact, the part was first offered to Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe, and Sylvester Stallone, before it fell into Damon’s hands. IFC reported that it was the actor’s enthusiasm for Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that essentially landed him the role.
2. Where has the super spy been for the past 9 years?
That is precisely the burning question on fans’ lips: “Where the heck has Bourne been?” Damon himself revealed that “Jason Bourne” is set to take place in the “post-Snowden world”, referring to the former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, the person responsible for leaking classified information that disclose how the government was spying on the American public.
The sequel will further explore the nature of spy agencies and civil liberties. In discussing Bourne’s whereabouts for past few years, the returning director said, “He’s been in the shadows of Europe. He’s been active and he’s been doing hard physical work. Definitely not sunning himself on the beach.” In addition, Bourne has also been living a difficult lifestyle. Being on the run from the US and European government is no easy feat.
3. How “Jason Bourne” got its movie title
Initially, the studio was planning on sticking to the same formula by opting for “The Bourne Something” for the title, but Bourne’s complexity at this stage convinced them to rethink their decision.
“The idea was to separate this film from the others, because so much time has passed since we did one. Ours are really about identity, and the guy’s search for identity, and at the end of the 3rd one, he says “I’m no longer Jason Bourne“,” Damon told Empire.
“So without giving too much away, the new one starts with the implications of that: okay, then who is he? What is this identity that’s just sitting out there unclaimed? What does it mean? I think the title will make more sense when you see the movie, but it felt right because it felt pertinent to the story we were telling and also different from the others-in the right way,” he added.
4. Damon’s physical prep to get back in shape
To help transform the 46-year-old actor’s body back to Bourne readiness, the muscular man took part in tremendous weight lifting exercises, squats, and circuit training exercises to multiply the number of muscles in his body, while sticking to a strict diet.
This dedication further illustrates Damon’s commitment in making another worthwhile addition for the “Bourne” franchise. “You don’t make a movie unless you’re 1000 percent committed to make the best movie we can, and you don’t make this kind of movie unless you think it can be a worthy successor to the other movies we made. That phenomenal Jason Bourne shape was a segment of intent,” Greengrass noted.
The director himself was taken by surprise when Damon showed up to work on the 1st day totally ripped. “It gave all of us the most immense shock, because you think Oh my god. This is weird. This is Jason Bourne, and he’s back. That’s sort of exciting,” he shared.
5. The actor only has about 25 lines in the entire film
Don’t expect Damon to talk much in “Jason Bourne”. The focus on all the “Bourne” movies has always been centred on the action scenes. Having said that, is that a valid reason for the lack of dialogue this time around? Damon seems to think so.
“I’ve done it 3 times. In the 1st movie, the Marie Kreutz character (Bourne’s girlfriend, played by Franka Potente) is still alive, so Bourne has a sounding board and he’s more confused about who he is and a lot more chatty. Once she dies in the 1st act of the 2nd movie, it’s really a very lonely character. And we talked about that mostly on the 2nd one. I remember Tony writing me an e-mail saying, “You do realise what this means? You do realise you’re not going to talk in this movie”. I said, “No, I love that,”” the A-lister told The Guardian.
In his defense, there’s much less pressure when he’s learning a complicated fight scene and don’t have many lines to remember. And even if he forgets his dialogue, he could throw a punch at someone and that would probably have been a-okay.
6. A younger Jason Bourne to replace Damon
Franchise reboots are very common in Hollywood, and Damon has already made peace with that inevitable fate. “I’m definitely gonna be replaced someday by some new, young Jason Bourne, that happens to everybody and they reboot these things, and that’s totally fine,” said the actor at a recent press conference.
“It’s difficult when you’re 45 compared to when you’re 29, but you still have to run as fast as you can. That part was a challenge but to get to revisit the people was wonderful. But I said, let’s smell the roses as we say and appreciate that we get to be here together and make sure we have fun,” he said before adding that “Jason Bourne” was designed to complete his run playing the amnesiac spy.
7. Having trouble remembering what happened before? Damon recaps the “Bourne” trilogy in 90 seconds
And there you have it folks, you’re now up to speed on the entire story so far. Obviously, watching Damon again is the main draw, but “Jason Bourne” also has a talented assemble of supporting cast comprising of “The Danish Girl” actress Alicia Vikander as a technology-savvy CIA analyst, Tommy Lee Jones as a CIA honcho, and of course, Julia Stiles returning as Bourne’s partner-in-crime, the former CIA employee Nicky Parsons..