Expect to see a Bourne-less Bourne Legacy

So The Bourne Legacy won’t have Jason Bourne in it…okay then. After last week’s announcement that Michael Clayton director Tony Gilroy was going to be taking over the fourth instalment in the Bourne franchise we now find out that the writer/director plans to leave out Matt Damon’s character this time round.

In an interview with Hollywood Elsewhere, the writer of the previous three stated that although the movie will be named after the Eric van Lustbader written fourth novel in Robert Ludlum’s literary franchise, that’s where the similarities end. Like the 3 before the novel’s name is simply a jumping off point for a completely original screenplay. This one “is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one’s replacing Matt Damon. There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter…this is a stand-alone project”, according to Gilroy.

No Matt Damon? That’s not good, but then Damon is on record as stating that he would not return to Bourne without Supremacy and Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass. Gilroy was quick to point out that the fourth movie doesn’t completely rule out Jason’s return further down the line.

“The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal. Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he’s very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for what happens. I’m building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy…the world we’re making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne’s return [down the road].”

So right then how will this be a Bourne movie? Well accoring to Gilroy, “Everything you saw in the first three films actually happened, and everyone who got into will be rewarded for paying attention. We’re going to show you the bigger picture, the bigger canvas. When you see what we’re going and see what we’re doing it’ll be pretty obvious….but Jason Bourne’s activities in the first three films is the immediate trigger.”

Ah so that’s okay then. Assuming shooting starts early next year The Bourne Legacy can be expected to be released in 2012. Who would you like to see fill Matt Damon’s shoes?