No matter how much you wish against it, director Paul Greengrass’ days with the Bourne franchise are behind him. The Captain Phillips filmmaker made his stance on Bourne clear in an interview with Deadline, explaining exactly why he left the franchise.
“The problem with franchise films is, if you do one too many that is not good, you’ve ruined the whole thing for yourself,” he said. “I couldn’t come up with an idea [for a Bourne Ultimatum sequel], and the business reality of franchises is that when a studio has a Bourne, they’re obliged to make one every couple of years. I discovered in my heart I didn’t have another one in me. I would be going through the motions and I could never do that. … The best thing was to move on, have someone else come in and make their mark on it.”
Greengrass said he “agonized” over the decision “for a long period of time,” but felt that he had nothing left to add to the franchise.
“Somebody else could find a way to do it, I hope they do and that the franchise prospers; but I knew it wasn’t going to be me,” he said. “I’m completely at peace with it. I look back now and think, if I’d done my third film, and hadn’t done it well, I’d have been really upset. I wouldn’t be at peace with it the way I am now.”
Following Greengrass and Matt Damon’s departure, Universal Pictures continued the Bourne series through a different character, Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner. Cross was the protagonist of 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, and he’ll appear again in an untitled sequel scheduled for release on August 14, 2015.