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Matt Damon: Why I walked away from 'Bourne'

By Liz Kelly Nelson 

In the latest issue of GQ, "We Bought a Zoo" star Matt Damon talks about why he walked away from the "Bourne" franchise, his reaction to President Obama's White House Correspondents Dinner digs and about a couple projects he has on the bubble -- one with "hetero lifemate" Ben Affleck and another with "The Office's" John Krasinski.

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On why he walked away from Bourne:

"If you look at the first three movies, we kind of pounded that idea of identity and amnesia into the ground. We really got everything out of it that we could. So to reboot it, we need to come up with something completely new."

On Tony Gilroy's "unreadable" "Bourne Ultimatum" script, which ended up being rewritten:

"I don't blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It's just that it was unreadable. This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It's terrible. It's really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left."

On his plan to step behind the camera:

"When I first started getting work, I felt like acting was the most important thing. But the more you do it, the more you realize that in the end, the director has all the power."

Dec 13, 2011 9:05PM
I do understand when he says that the Bourne saga is pretty much played out, all good things come to an end; however, I believe that there is one more chapter to the story that MUST be told. I am a firm believer that all great characters must find closure and Jason Bourne is no exception. I am a huge fan of this saga and would love to see a fourth film, not to beat a dead horse when it comes to amnesia but rather back story, what led him to join the program, what happened after the congressional investigation (who went to prison and who got away), and how Jason finally re-integrates back into society. Those are the things I was hoping to see in the fourth and final installment.
Dec 13, 2011 9:25PM
avatar folks don't have a clue.  Not only is Damon not a commie, but he is probably as far as you can get away from being a follower of Marx.  Plus, folks, Ludlum was no communist, it show's you guys don't know jack.  What offends me is that these people just seem to like to hear themselves speak, without having any facts.  Get another hobby other than trying to blemish a great actor.
Dec 13, 2011 8:41PM
Well I did like the first Bourne the best. It was like being lost along with the main character and I didn't know what would happen next.
Dec 13, 2011 7:29PM
There are other places they can go with the character; there were eight sequel novels (the last six of which are written by Eric Van Lustbader) with another novel due to be released in 2012). It doesn't always have to be about identity and amnesia. Sorry to see Matt will not be in The Bourne Legacy this summer.
Dec 13, 2011 7:59PM
Some might believe a film is just a film.....but there are many factors involved in bringing a story to life, not to mention the amount of Capital that is neccessary. An actor's career is like fine china, it's fragile, and can be broken in a New York Minute. If I payed good money for a script, and got crap back on my investment, I would be a little unhappy too. If I were vested in a Starring role, I would want a return on that investment. Now Damon did a pretty good Job with that role, so why should he just toss in the towel to shotty scriptwriting, jepordizing his furture? He was brutally honest in his assessment of Gilroy, and it is his money on the table, he earned it, he should have a say. Shame on Gilroy, who was less than professional for taking money and turning in crap, and cuddo's to Damon for finding a diplomatic answer to the question.
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