The end of 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum finally saw beleaguered spy Jason Bourne achieve a kind of closure. He discovered the truth behind his hidden identity and swam away to live happily ever after. Nearly ten years later, Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass are back with another sequel, Jason Bourne. So what drew Bourne out of retirement?
Damon tells EW that the conclusion of Ultimatum completed one element of his story. But as for the man at the heart of that story? He's still in a dark place. "He’s living with the same things as he was before," Damon explains, "and then he goes to find Julia Stiles’ character, who basically says, 'Just because you remember everything, doesn’t mean you know everything,' so you find him in a place that’s dark and unresolved."
Looking at it logistically, it does add up. Just because he faced the reality of his situation, and came to grips with his true identity, doesn't mean he's a happy chap. "This is the completion of this journey that started in The Bourne Identity," Damon continues. "It’s part of the first three [movies], it’s not a whole new chapter. It feels like the conclusion, even though we’re not saying it’s the conclusion, it feels like the conclusion of my identity journey. It goes deeper than Ultimatum, basically."
Since we last saw Bourne the world is a very different place, and those changes will be reflected in this next adventure. "There’s been the financial collapse, the great recession, all these issues of cyber warfare and civil liberties – things that are slowly coming to into the zeitgeist as we start to grapple with what the future is going to look like. And so those are kind of somewhere in the stew of our story... This one feels like a movie about today."
Directed by Paul Greengrass, and starring Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones, Jason Bourne opens in the UK on July 28, and in the US on July 29.