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[Movies] Matt Damon Would Only Go Back To The Bourne Franchise If The Script Was Right
Posted by Joseph Lee on 01.04.2013



In an interview with Collider to promote his new film Promised Land, Matt Damon revealed what it would take to get him to return to the Bourne franchise.

On if he would play Jason Bourne again: "If someone wrote a good script, I would consider revisiting it. I'm just tied to Paul Greengrass, so if they could ever figure out a story, I'd consider it. That's why we didn't do it the last time. They hadn't cracked one for my character, so they did one with Jeremy [Renner]."

On getting Promised Land done so quickly: "It's funny, we're an $18 million movie, going out against The Hobbit. We're like, "Yeah, we're cool. We've got this! What else is coming out? Zero Dark Thirty? That's not going to be a big deal!" We started shooting it in April, and (director) Gus [Van Sant] shaved six weeks off the post-production, just because he could. He's so experienced. I think Focus was originally leaning towards bringing it out next year, just because they wanted to give Gus time. But, he showed them a rough cut of the movie, four weeks ahead of schedule, just ‘cause he was done. He said, "Listen, I'd just like to get your notes now, so I can keep working," so it was just really accelerated.

We shot the whole thing in 30 days versus Good Will Hunting, which was exactly the same size budget, but we had 48 days. We were talking about it on the set and laughing about how much time they used to give us to make movies, and we felt really rushed. Now, it's 30 days. This script is structured really similarly, in that there are a lot of five-page dialogue scenes. On Good Will Hunting, we went over budget on film because Robin [Williams] liked to do a lot of takes. We had the time, so we would just do a lot of takes. With this, Gus is 15 years down the road, in terms of his experience, and he doesn't shoot as much coverage. He goes, "I'm going to be here for this moment, so let's do that." So, you do a few takes, and then he's like, "Okay, we've got that." It felt like we had 48 days. It was a luxurious, relaxed pace that we were moving at. That's the kind of energy that Gus puts off, all the time, so it was really great. By the second day, we started pulling stuff up in the schedule because we were so far ahead."

On why Gus Van Sant replaced him as director of Promised Land: "Well, Gus is, without question, a better director than me. I decided that I wasn't going to direct it on December 15th of last year. That was my last day of work. The Neill Blomkamp movie (Elysium) that I was on went over. I had been away from my kids, and then I got back and had to do a really intense week or two of press for We Bought A Zoo. On December 15th, my last thing was The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and I finished it and got home and my year was over. I looked at the calendar and realized that, to get the movie out this year, I had to go into pre-production on January 2nd. I just couldn't leave the kids again. So, I had to call John, which was horrible.

We produced it together, and he was like, "Well, couldn't you have told me this a month ago? It's December 15th. We can't even get our agent on the phone right now, let alone a director." The other thing was that Warner Bros. had given us the money. They were backing the movie because of me, because I have a deal there. This obviously isn't a Warner Bros. movie. It's a much smaller movie, but they were just doing it out of support, which was really great of them. But, I knew the second I told them that I wasn't going to direct it, they were going to bail, which they did. They very politely said, "You're really the reason we were backing it. This isn't really what we do." And so, I lost us a director and our money, but it was the right decision and I said that to John. I said, "I don't know what's going to happen, but I know this is the right decision. Our script is good, and there's going to be a great director. I know there will be someone who wants to do it. Look at the script. You know it's good." And he was like, "Whatever, man!" And then, the next morning, I was leaving to go to Florida with my family and I was sitting on the plane, feeling horrible. I emailed Gus [Van Sant] and told him everything that had happened, and he emailed me back, right before we had to switch our phones off. He said, "I love your writing. I'd love to read it." At that point, it was what they officially call the Alec Baldwin moment. The flight attendant was like, "Turn that fucking thing off, or I'm going to come and take it from you!" So, I forwarded it to Gus from my Blackberry, as fast as I could, and then switched it off."





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