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Will We Ever Get A Jason Bourne 6?

The Bourne film series proved to be hugely popular in the early 2000s with the arrival of The Bourne Identity, based on Robert Ludlum's book of the same name. With Matt Damon starring as its titular hero, the franchise introduced a new breed of super-spy, and viewers couldn't get enough. The Bourne Identity and its subsequent sequels quickly became a new benchmark for action films due to their impressive dedication to practical stunts and effects (that pencil moment in Identity is still wince-inducing) alongside a compelling mystery that had Bourne at its center.

With The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, the series seemed like the perfect trilogy. But Universal Pictures obviously wanted to continue the franchise, following up Ultimatum in 2012 with The Bourne Legacy. This time, Jeremy Renner took the lead of the franchise as Aaron Cross after Damon declined an offer to return — though he didn't stay away from the role for too long, eventually coming back to the role in 2016 for Jason Bourne.

That follow-up saw Bourne come out of hiding to uncover a secret about his father's role in his CIA training, while obviously being hunted by the agency ... again. 2016's Jason Bourne wasn't as well-received by critics, but the $415 million it made at the box office means Universal was always going to be interested in more Bourne. So, does that mean we'll eventually get Jason Bourne 6? Maybe, but director Paul Greengrass won't be the one helming it.

Director Paul Greengrass cast doubt on returning to the Bourne franchise

In a December 2020 interview with The Playlist, Greengrass said that he has no idea what Universal has planned for the Bourne franchise, and cast doubt on whether he'd be involved in Jason Bourne 6. Although, surprisingly, he did say he'd be interested in seeing another sequel, telling the outlet that he'd be "first in line." It's also clear that Greengrass enjoyed working with Matt Damon and Universal when working on Supremacy, Identity, and Jason Bourne, but he feels his time helming the franchise should come to an end now.

"It hasn't come up recently, so I actually don't know what their plans are [for Jason Bourne 6]. I'm sure they'll make more Bourne movies, I hope so. I don't know whether I'll be involved, but I've done my stint really, haven't I? Let's be honest," said Greengrass. "But I love a Bourne movie, and I love the actor, and I wish them well."

The obvious question about Jason Bourne 6 is where can the story go from here? After all, the former-amnesiac super-spy has his memories back, and he's purged the CIA of Blackbriar, the original Treadstone program, and all the shadowy figures who were manipulating him. The personal aspect of Bourne's mystery was the hook of the franchise; without that, it's questionable whether it would be worth pushing this tortured hero any further. And while it would be interesting to see Bourne as a villain, after four whole films of character development, it might not make sense for him to transform into an antagonist.

He's just Bourne this way

Perhaps a better idea would be switching Bourne into a mentor role, or even bring him into the fold with the CIA, since he's not getting any younger. (Unless he gets reBourne?) Anyway, for a while, it seemed like the future of the franchise could lie with USA's Treadstone series. It followed the creation of Operation Treadstone and individual agents after they've been activated into ruthless killers like Bourne himself. Unfortunately, the show was canceled after just one season in 2019, putting an end to any potential set-up for Jason Bourne 6.

In the time since Bourne last graced the big screen, high-energy, stunt-orientated blockbusters like Keanu Reeves' John Wick series have become the new standard. So if Jason Bourne 6 does eventually get the green light, it would need to find new ways of engaging the audience. Producer Frank Marshall, who's worked on each film in the franchise, explained to Collider in 2020 that a sixth installment provides new opportunities to bring fresh filmmakers with creative perspectives on what the series could do: "I do like the Bourne series, and I do think that's an opportunity for different filmmakers to come in now. So, I'm hoping that we can find a new story for Bourne and a new filmmaker. We are looking."

Who could breathe new life into Jason Bourne 6?

If there's anyone who knows how to do energetic stunts that would work perfectly in the Bourne-iverse, it's The Raid and Gangs of London director Gareth Edwards, who's an expert at crafting a unique, visceral experience for the audience. His work on The Raid and The Raid: Redemption quickly caught the attention of Netflix, and later, he directed Dan Stevens in creepy cult-horror Apostle.

Edwards even pitched a solo Deathstroke movie to DC at one point before starting work on the crime thriller series Gangs of London, which proved hugely popular thanks to its heavy reliance on meticulously choreographed fight sequences. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on our part, but Gareth Edwards and Matt Damon working on Jason Bourne 6 together would be a perfect match. It's just a shame that Damon once said he thinks "people are done with the character." 

For the moment, it seems like although Jason Bourne 6 could happen, audiences might not see the super-spy's return for quite some time, and there's no telling who might lead the movie and who might direct it. Someone press play on Moby's "Extreme Ways" right now.