Tradecraft: Tony Gilroy's Bourne Again
Deadline Hollywood and Variety are both reporting that Tony Gilroy, who worked on the scripts for all three Bourne movies before going on to critical but not commercial success directing Michael Clayton and Duplicity, is now back in the Bourne fold. Following drafts by Bourne Ultimatum co-writer George Nolfi and uncredited Quantum of Solace contributor Josh Zetumer, Universal has now turned to the man they rightfully recognize as the cinematic Bourne mastermind to pen a fourth film in the franchise. (Presumably he was unavailable earlier.) Following the pattern with Robert Ludlum's second and third novels, they are currently using the title of Eric van Lustbader's continuation novel The Bourne Legacy (which is a good title!) but not the story. Gilroy is also working on a "Bourne bible" for the studio, presumably a guide to the universe for future writers and directors. Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass are not attached right now. We all know how much Damon likes talking about not returning to the series, but then again Sean Connery said the same thing after You Only Live Twice. Perhaps Damon should follow Connery's example and never say never. Greengrass has also declared his intention not to return (and his involvement is critical to Damon's), but since then he's left the project he was going to helm, a remake of Fantastic Voyage, so he does seem to be available again. A commentor at Deadline Hollywood makes a provocative reference to a feud between Greengrass and Gilroy, but I have no knowldege to substantiate or deny his claim. Personally, I remain hopeful that at least Damon and possibly Greengrass too will return to the series. For now, though, I'm glad that Gilroy is on board. Universal is being aggressive and targeting a 2012 release.
UPDATE: Read Jeremy's comment below for some fascinating further information!