Marshall says Damon isn’t back as Bourne

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Shortly after word hit that Universal was pushing their next “Bourne” film back from 2015 to 2016 a rumour surfaced that the delay was due to Matt Damon’s return.

Producer Frank Marshall tells The Hollywood Reporter that Damon isn’t reprising his Jason Bourne role for the new movie, and the new film is still intended to be a vehicle for “Bourne Legacy” star Jeremy Renner.

“It’s simply not true,” Marshall tells the trade, reiterating that Renner’s Aaron Cross character is the star. “[Director] Justin Lin is working with Andrew Baldwin on an Aaron Cross script/story that they pitched us a few months ago. I talk to Justin all the time and the script is not ready. It’s a summer movie, and if we don’t start preproduction now, we can’t make next summer. Therefore, it’s a wise decision to move to 2016.”

Damon has remained opened to returning to the role of Jason Bourne sometime in the future, but with the stipulation that director Paul Greengrass, director of 2004′s “The Bourne Supremacy”, and the 2007 installment, ”The Bourne Ultimatum” also return.

Now, just because a producer tells the press that that the Damon returns rumour is false doesn’t mean it is- it could simply be that Universal, Marshall and anyone else connected to the film doesn’t want the big secret revealed yet – either because negotiations are still underway, or they’d prefer to be dropping the exciting bombshell themselves. It happens all the time. Remember when Bradley Cooper swore black-and-blue that he wasn’t playing Face in “The A-Team”? or the original “Star Wars” gang all keeping mum on whether or not they were involved in the new series? or our own exclusive that an Arnold Schwarzenegger cameo was originally written into the “Predators” script- which the powers-that-be quickly claimed to be a BS rumour (until the truth came out)? and how about Jason Momoa’s constant denials that he’s involved in the “Batman vs. Superman” movie? All ended up being pure spin to cloak the truth.