"Bourne" goes back to basics

Wed Jun 9, 2010 11:33pm EDT
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By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Universal is going back to the drawing board with its "Bourne" franchise, hiring the Oscar-nominated writer/director of "Michael Clayton" to write a treatment for a fourth installment of the action series.

The project, with the working title of "Bourne Legacy," will be written by Tony Gilroy, who will disregard a pair of scripts already in the can. Gilroy also worked on the first three films. ("Bourne Legacy" is a book written by Eric Lustbader in novelist Robert Ludlum's "Bourne" series, but the film will not be based on this book.)

Universal wants to release the film in 2012. But it is unclear whether "Bourne" star Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass, who directed the sequels "Bourne Supremacy" and "Bourne Ultimatum," will return.

Damon has said he does not want to make a new installment without Greengrass, while the director has said he is moving on to other projects. The duo's stance may soften given the multimillion dollar paydays involved.

With or without them, Universal is intent on making the movie, as the franchise is too important for the studio not to go forward. (The movies have grossed over $944 million worldwide.)

In addition to the "Bourne" movies and the George Clooney legal drama "Michael Clayton," Gilroy wrote the recent thrillers "State of Play" and "Duplicity."