Bourne (film series)

Bourne (film series)
The Bourne Series

The Bourne Trilogy DVD cover art
Directed by Doug Liman (Identity)
Paul Greengrass (Supremacy & Ultimatum)
Tony Gilroy (Legacy)
Produced by Doug Liman
Frank Marshall
Patrick Crowley
Andrew R. Tennenbaum
Written by Tony Gilroy
William Blake Herron
Brian Helgeland
Scott Z. Burns
George Nolfi
Starring Matt Damon
Julia Stiles
Joan Allen
Chris Cooper
Brian Cox
David Strathairn
Franka Potente
Jeremy Renner
Edward Norton
Rachel Weisz
Music by John Powell
Moby ("Extreme Ways")
Cinematography Oliver Wood
Editing by Saar Klein
Christopher Rouse
Rick Pearson
Studio Kennedy/Marshall
Ludlum Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) 2002–2012
Country United States
Language English
Box office $945,446,013

The Bourne films are a series of dramatic films based on the character Jason Bourne, a former CIA assassin suffering from extreme memory loss,[1] created by author Robert Ludlum. All three of Ludlum's novels were adapted for the screen, featuring Matt Damon as the titular character in each. Doug Liman directed The Bourne Identity (2002), Paul Greengrass directed The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), and Tony Gilroy co-wrote each film. The series is noted for its realism, in contrast to the growing use of CGI in the action genre.[2]



Director Doug Liman stated that he had been a fan of The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum since he read it in high school. Near the end of production of Liman's previous film Swingers, Liman decided to develop a film adaptation of the novel. After more than two years of securing rights to the book from Warner Brothers and a further year of screenplay development with screenwriter Tony Gilroy, the film went through two years of production.[3] Liman approached a wide range of actors for the role of Bourne, including Russell Crowe and Sylvester Stallone, before he eventually cast Matt Damon. Liman found that Damon understood and appreciated that, though The Bourne Identity would have its share of action, the focus was primarily on character and plot.[4] Production was difficult, with screenplay rewrites occurring throughout the entire filming and Liman constantly arguing with Universal's executives.[5] The Bourne Identity was eventually released in June 2002.

In June 2003, Universal announced the sequel, The Bourne Supremacy, and that it would be directed by British director Paul Greengrass.[6]


The Bourne Identity

A man is found floating in the Mediterranean Sea with two gunshot wounds in his back and a device with the number of a Swiss safe deposit box embedded in his hip. Upon reaching shore, the man assumes the name Jason Bourne after finding a passport under the name in the safe deposit box, along with other international passports, large amounts of assorted currencies, and a gun. He subsequently attempts to discover his true identity while countering attempts on his life by CIA assassins, eventually realizing that he is one such assassin who failed to complete his most recent mission. Bourne breaks his connections to the CIA and unites with Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente), a woman who helped him learn about his most recent actions prior to his memory loss. Bourne's conflict with the CIA reaches a climax when he takes the fight to their doorstep.

The Bourne Supremacy

Some two years after learning that he is a trained assassin and breaking his connections with the CIA Jason Bourne is framed for a crime connected to one of his past missions. A subsequent attempt on his life results in Marie's death, so he decides to take revenge by hunting down those responsible for her death and his forgotten past, thinking that the CIA is hunting him again. Bourne discovers that Ward Abbott (Brian Cox), one of the men who oversaw Operation Treadstone, the program which trained Bourne to be an assassin, stole millions of dollars from the CIA. Abbott meant to implicate Bourne in the theft with the frameup, which would have led the CIA on a wild goose chase had Bourne been killed as intended. Bourne exposes Abbott to Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), the CIA agent in charge of finding Bourne, and Abbott commits suicide. After a long car chase, Bourne later spares a Russian agent who was paid to kill him and was responsible for Marie's death, and then goes into hiding.

The Bourne Ultimatum

Six weeks later, Bourne learns that a British journalist has been investigating his past and contacts him to find out who his source is. Bourne is subsequently targeted by Operation Blackbriar, an upgraded Operation Treadstone, which has also taken note of the investigation. Believing that Bourne is a threat and is seeking revenge, Blackbriar's director Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) begins a new hunt for Bourne. Bourne manages to take classified documents proving that Blackbriar has targeted U.S. citizens and is aided by Landy, who disagreed with Vosen from the beginning and does not support Blackbriar's existence. Bourne finally comes face to face with the person who oversaw his behavioral modification as the first Treadstone operative some years earlier, memories of which resurface. Those responsible for Treadstone and Blackbriar are exposed, and Bourne goes underground.

The Bourne Legacy

Universal Pictures originally intended The Bourne Ultimatum to be the final film in the series, but development of another film was under way by October 2008.[7] George Nolfi, who co-wrote The Bourne Ultimatum, was to write the script of a fourth film, not to be based on any of the novels by Robert Ludlum.[7] Joshua Zetumer had been hired to write a parallel script—a draft which could be combined with another (Nolfi's, in this instance)—by August 2009 since Nolfi would be directing The Adjustment Bureau that September.[8] Matt Damon stated in November 2009 that no script had been approved and that he hoped that a film would begin shooting in mid-2011.[9] The next month, he said that he would not do another Bourne film without Paul Greengrass, who announced in late November that he had decided not to return as director.[10] In January 2010, Damon said that there would "probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we do another one just because I think we're probably another five years away from doing it."[11]

However, it was reported in June 2010 that Tony Gilroy would be writing a script with his brother and screenwriter Dan Gilroy for a fourth film to be released sometime in 2012.[12] On October 29, Universal set the release date for The Bourne Legacy at August 3, 2012.[13]

On February 24, 2011, a list of actors met with Gilroy for a role in the film, possibly filling a role that would either replace Damon, or co-star with Damon. The list included Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Josh Hartnett, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Alex Pettyfer, Paul Dano, Taylor Kitsch, Kellan Lutz, Benjamin Walker, Oscar Isaac, Luke Evans, Michael Pitt, Chris Evans, Dominic Cooper and Joel Edgerton.[14][15][16] On March 24, the studio had screen tested actors Edgerton, Cooper, Hedlund, Luke Evans and newcomer Erryn Arkin for the role.[17][18] On April 2, 2011, Latino Review reported that Jeremy Renner is expected to headline the new film.[19] Renner will allegedly be playing a new character. Rachel Weisz is in talks, and may be the love interest.[20] Actor Edward Norton is said to be in talks to play the film's villain.[21] On May 28, 2011, screenwriter and director Tony Gilroy had chosen Manila as location for The Bourne Legacy. Gilroy said that 40% of the film will be shot in Manila. In August 2011 it was announced that actor Scott Glenn would reprise his role in the film.[22] Filming also took place on Long Island, New York. Edward Norton was among some of the cast which confirms the rumor of his appearance in the movie.[citation needed]

Cast and characters

Character Film
The Bourne Identity The Bourne Supremacy The Bourne Ultimatum The Bourne Legacy
Jason Bourne Matt Damon
Nicky Parsons Julia Stiles
Marie Helena Kreutz Franka Potente (Flashback)
Alexander Conklin Chris Cooper (Flashback)
Ward Abbott Brian Cox (Flashback)
Danny Zorn Gabriel Mann
The Professor Clive Owen
Nykwana Wombosi Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Pamela Landy Joan Allen
Tom Cronin Tom Gallop
Kirill Karl Urban
Jarda Marton Csokas
Noah Vosen David Strathairn
Martin Kreutz Daniel Brühl
Ezra Kramer Scott Glenn
Simon Ross Paddy Considine
Desh Bouksani Joey Ansah
Paz Edgar Ramirez
Dr. Albert Hirsch Albert Finney
Martin Jeremy Renner
TBA Rachel Weisz
TBA Edward Norton
TBA Stacy Keach
Number 3 Oscar Isaac


The Bourne series was met with both critical and commercial success. Ultimatum won three Academy Awards: Best Film Editing, Sound, and Best Sound Editing.[23] Both Supremacy and Ultimatum won the Empire Award for Best Film.[24][25]

Box office performance

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Profit Reference
United States Foreign Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
The Bourne Identity June 14, 2002 $121,661,683 $92,372,541 $214,034,224 #296 #352 $60,000,000 $154,034,224 [26]
The Bourne Supremacy July 23, 2004 $176,241,941 $112,500,000 $288,741,941 #134 #231 $75,000,000 $213,741,941 [27][28]
The Bourne Ultimatum August 3, 2007 $227,471,070 $215,353,068 $442,824,138 #69 #4 $110,000,000 $332,824,138 [29]
The Bourne Legacy August 3, 2012
Total $525,374,694 $420,225,609 $945,600,303 $245,000,000 $700,600,303

Critical reaction

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Yahoo! Movies
Overall Cream of the Crop
The Bourne Identity 83% (183 reviews)[30] 81% (37 reviews)[31] 68% (38 reviews)[32] B (13 reviews)[33]
The Bourne Supremacy 81% (188 reviews)[34] 74% (39 reviews)[35] 73% (39 reviews)[36] B (15 reviews)[37]
The Bourne Ultimatum 94% (231 reviews)[38] 98% (40 reviews)[39] 85% (38 reviews)[40] B+ (13 reviews)[41]
The Bourne Legacy
Average Ratings 86% 84% 75% B


  1. ^ Bruce Bennett (2008-05-28). "Jason Bourne Takes His Case to MoMA". New York Sun. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  2. ^ Gregory Kirschling (2007-04-17). "The Bourne Ultimatum". Entertainment Weekly.,,20035285_20035331_20035434,00.html. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  3. ^ The Bourne Identity DVD Commentary Featuring Doug Liman (2003).
  4. ^ Hanrahan, Denise. "Interview with Doug Liman". Retrieved 14 March 2007. 
  5. ^ King, Tom. "Bourne to be Wild". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 12 March 2007. 
  6. ^ "Bourne Again". Entertainment Weekly. 2003-06-24.,,460778,00.html. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  7. ^ a b Michael Fleming (2008-10-16). "Universal moves ahead with 'Bourne'". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (2009-08-21). "Script is 'Bourne' again". The Hollywood Reporter: pp. 1, 25. Retrieved 2009-11-14. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Exclusive Matt Damon Interview". p. 6. 12 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 
  10. ^ Sperling, Nicole (2009-12-04). "Matt Damon on 'Bourne 4': 'I wouldn't do it without Paul Greengrass'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 December 2009. 
  11. ^ Chris Hewitt (February 1, 2010). "Will The Next Bourne Be A Prequel?". Empire. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  12. ^ Nicole Sperling (June 9, 2010). "Tony Gilroy penning a fourth 'Bourne' script". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Universal Sets Release Dates Through 2013". October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  14. ^ Mike Fleming. "Tony Gilroy Casts Net For 'Bourne' Spinoff". Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  15. ^ Jamie Williams. "The Latest Bourne Legacy Contender: Chris Evans". Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  16. ^ "Howard Stark in the running for the lead in the Bourne Legacy?". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  17. ^ "'Bourne Legacy' Update: Who'll Test?". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  18. ^ "Exclusive: 'The Bourne Legacy' Has Erryn Arkin in Its Sights". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  19. ^ "Exclusive: Bourne Legacy Offer To Go Out To...". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  20. ^ "Rachel Weisz In Deep Talks For Bourne Gal". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  21. ^ "Edward Norton May Join 'The Bourne Legacy'". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  22. ^ "Scott Glenn Returns To Bourne". /Film. Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  23. ^ "80th Academy Awards Winners". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  24. ^ "Empire Awards 2005". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  25. ^ "Empire Awards 2008". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  26. ^ "The Bourne Identity (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  27. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  28. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy (2004) International Gross". The Numbers Box Office Data. Nash Information Services, LLC.. 2009-11-27. 
  29. ^ "The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC.. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  30. ^ "The Bourne Identity". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  31. ^ "The Bourne Identity (Cream of the Crop)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  32. ^ "The Bourne Identity". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  33. ^ "The Bourne Identity". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo!. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  34. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  35. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy (Cream of the Crop)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  36. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  37. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo!. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  38. ^ "The Bourne Ultimatum". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  39. ^ "The Bourne Ultimatum (Cream of the Crop)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  40. ^ "The Bourne Ultimatum". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  41. ^ "The Bourne Ultimatum". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo!. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 

External links

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