The New Bourne Movie Can Succeed By Stealing a Trendy Franchise Trick

A new decade needs a new hero.

Universal Pictures

No franchise, no matter how big, is safe from fatigue. Creators need to innovate and breathe new life into existing characters and storylines, or else even the biggest names will topple into oblivion.

Deadline has revealed that All Quiet on the Western Front director Edward Berger will helm another movie in the Bourne franchise. There are currently five films in the series, from 2002’s The Bourne Identity to 2016’s Jason Bourne; where can a sixth film released eight years later fall in the mix? There are a lot of ways another film could go wrong, but there’s also one obvious answer for how the franchise can keep going while staying fresh.

Original star Matt Damon is now 53, a little old to star in an action thriller that takes a more grounded approach than Mission: Impossible or James Bond. He was already taking a backseat in Jason Bourne, as he had just 45 lines in the entire movie. This new movie has no script yet, so Damon isn’t attached, but Deadline reported he would be approached to reprise his role as Jason Bourne before any other decisions were made. Is that the right move, or should someone else star in the next movie?

Even at 45 in Jason Bourne, the action star wasn’t the man he once was.

Universal Pictures

The Bourne franchise tried shifting its focus before in 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, which ditched Damon entirely and centered around a brand new character, to mixed reviews. Instead of taking such a drastic approach again, a compromise could work. Bourne needs a “Legacyquel,” a movie that brings back an original franchise star to pass it on to a successor. Think Blade Runner 2049, Star Trek (2009), or Creed, movies that evolved their stories while honoring what came before.

This approach could bring back Bourne as a mentor for a young upstart capable of carrying the action into a new era. Any decent spy has to be taught by someone; why not have a legendary teacher? Bourne had a habit of going rogue to survive and expose corrupt spy programs, and a new protagonist with the same agenda could benefit from Bourne’s expertise and drive.

The next Bourne movie should take a page from Creed and move on.

Warner Bros.

A lega-sequel would be the best of both worlds for Bourne. It would bring back Matt Damon, but keep his role limited enough that it wouldn’t strain the bounds of credulity or tax his busy schedule. A franchise has to evolve to survive, and this is the perfect opportunity to give Bourne a timely update.

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