‘Fast & Furious’ Helmer Justin Lin To Direct Next ‘Bourne’ Installment

By | Friday November 8, 2013 @ 1:12pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has tapped the director of one of the studio’s most lucrative and successful franchises to take on the fifth installment of The Bourne Identity franchise. Justin Lin will direct the sequel to the Tony Gilroy-directed … Read More »

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New ‘Bourne’ Chapter In Works At Universal For Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross Character

By | Friday August 2, 2013 @ 11:53am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is getting the wheels moving on a fifth installment of The Bourne Identity franchise. I’ve heard that studio has hired Anthony Peckham to script a film that is designed to continue the storyline of Aaron … Read More »

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Fleming Q&A’s Matt Damon/John Krasinski: ‘Promised Land’; A Bat Stamp On ‘Bourne 4’; Ending ‘The Office’; Cheating On Affleck

By | Monday December 10, 2012 @ 8:27am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Even before Focus Features made Promised Land a late Oscar entry, the film’s writer-stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski came under fire from the energy industry. Their film deals with “fracking,” which mixes chemicals, sand, water and drilling to loosen underground shale deposits to harvest natural energy. Damon and Fran McDormand play gas company reps using the lure of potential riches to convince struggling farmers to allow fracking on their lands, despite the risks for their crops and livestock. Krasinski plays a grassroots activist fighting the reps as the town prepares to vote. Promised Land reunites Damon with Gus Van Sant, who directed Good Will Hunting, which brought Oscars and fame to Boston neophyte scribes Damon and Ben Affleck. Damon and Krasinski are fun guys, the type who’d be a blast to invite over to watch football…as long as you aren’t a fan of the New York Giants and the two Super Bowls they won over the New England Patriots.

DEADLINE: Matt, you’ve said recently that the Bourne Legacy spinoff didn’t make it any easier for Jason Bourne to return. What has to happen for us to see your signature character back onscreen?

DAMON: Just a couple things, really. Paul Greengrass has to want to do it, and secondly and equally important, it comes down to Paul and I knowing what the hell we want to do. We just don’t have a story, and we haven’t had one. I quietly went to Jonah Nolan, because he and his brother Chris did such a brilliant job on Batman and that whole mythology. I just said, can you put your brain on this? I can’t figure it out. And he took a run at it and he couldn’t crack it either. Paul and I have been talking about it for years. And we can’t quite see what the movie would be. If we could get line of sight on that…

DEADLINE: We are force-fed so many unnecessary sequels, and here is a smart thriller that we actually want to see more of…

DAMON: Neither of us is against it. I would love to do another one. I love that character. To me, the reason to make that movie is because people want to see it. Paul and I have said that to each other. We don’t take for granted the fact that we’ve built an audience for Bourne, that’s a real privilege. But our part of that bargain is that the movie is good and belongs with the other three. Until we can deliver that, we just can’t make it.

DEADLINE: I watched last week as Brad Pitt’s bankability got questioned after Killing Them Softly tanked. How much do stars like you and Brad worry about taking on projects like that or Promised Land? You see them as specialty pictures made at a price, but if they fail, they go down in the loss column.

DAMON: Some actors don’t make these movies for exactly that reason. I couldn’t bear to have a career like that. These are exactly the kind of movies I like to go see. That might put me in the minority of the movie-going public, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make them. In writing Promised Land, John and I talked a lot about films like Local Hero and The Verdict, a movie I absolutely love. I don’t know what that movie would do today, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to be in The Verdict.

DEADLINE: How helpful then are hits like Bourne

DAMON: It’s always nice when one hits. It buys you relevance in the industry for a couple years and gives you cover to do these other things. But I would never just protect my beach head. That would be a career built out of fear and I won’t live that way. I want to challenge myself in different genres, playing different characters, and I don’t want to get pigeonholed and forced to do the same things. If Promised Land does not do a lot of business, it’s not going to end my career. But I am mindful like we all are that you don’t get to keep doing this if your movies don’t perform at the box office.

DEADLINE: John, how hard is it for you to end your long run on The Office?

KRASINSKI: It’s as hard as it gets, to be honest. This is so much more for me than just ending a television series. I was a waiter when I got the job. No one would know my name if it wasn’t for this job and I certainly wouldn’t have gotten the career opportunities. To be part of something special enough to have a final season rather than just getting canned is an honor. The show is everything to me. By the end of whatever career I have, there’s a part of me that will always be defined by this show and I’m supremely honored that is the case. I got this job when I was 23 and now I’m 33 and that’s a pretty important decade to spend on one project with one group of people. This is the most important thing I’ve ever done, the proudest thing I have. I will never forget a minute of it nor would I take back a second of it. Read More »

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Sky, Universal In Exclusive Multi-Year Content Deal For UK, Ireland

In a blow to comers Netflix and Lovefilm, the UK’s Sky has entered a new multi-year deal with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution that will give it exclusive rights to current, upcoming and library film titles for its Sky Movies service. The pact will give customers an exclusive first window to Universal films after their theatrical runs for at least a year. Titles covered include The Bourne Legacy, Snow White And The Huntsman, Ted and, down the road, Les Miserables, Anna Karenina and Despicable Me 2. All movies will also be available on Sky’s recently-launched video on demand service Now TV.

The deal comes on the heels of September’s exclusive arrangement with Warner Bros. for recent and upcoming titles. That extended agreement was Sky’s first with a Hollywood major since Netflix appeared on the scene at the beginning of 2012. It was also the first pact announced with a major after the UK’s Competition Commission confirmed this summer that the News Corp-controlled Sky does not have a material advantage over its rivals in the first window pay-TV arena. These latest agreements mean that Sky retains exclusive first window rights to films from all of the Hollywood majors. Read More »

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‘The Expendables 2′ Tops Crowded Box Office With $28.7M Weekend, ‘Bourne Legacy’ $17M, ‘ParaNorman’ $14M; ‘The Campaign’ $13.3M, ‘Sparkle’ $12M

August 17-19 Weekend Actuals

1. The Expendables 2 (Millenium/Lionsgate) NEW [3,316 Runs] R Friday $10.5M, Saturday $10.2M, Sunday $7.9M, Weekend $28.6M

2. The Bourne Legacy (Universal) Week 2 [3,753 Runs] PG13 Friday $5.3M, Saturday $7.1M, Sunday $4.7M, Weekend $17.1M (-55%), Cume $69.6M

3. ParaNorman 3D (Focus Features) NEW [3,429 Runs] PG Friday

Read More »

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‘Bourne Legacy’ Actual Slows To $38.1M; ‘The Campaign’ $26.6M, ‘Hope Springs’ $14.6M

By | Monday August 13, 2012 @ 11:07am PDT

MONDAY 11 AM, 6TH UPDATE: Coming…

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Mike Fleming’s Q&A With ‘Bourne Legacy’ Helmer Tony Gilroy

By | Monday August 6, 2012 @ 2:14pm PDT
Mike Fleming

The Bourne Identity is the rare tent pole trilogy. It generated three films that set the high bar for the espionage genre, despite rampant creative clashes that go back to the first film, which was started by Doug Liman (who didn’t return). Key to the construction of Bourne’s complex mythology all along has been Tony Gilroy, who stripped away most of Robert Ludlum dense original book and boiled it down to an amnesiac assassin’s challenge to rediscover his identity and humanity. While that narrative arc propelled the film through three installments, Gilroy along the way stopped talking to director Paul Greengrass. And while Gilroy has screen credit on all three Bourne films, Matt Damon very uncharacteristically went out of his way to diss Gilroy’s script for The Bourne Ultimatum. At present, neither Greengrass nor Damon want anything more to do with Bourne.

This week, Gilroy returns as writer/director of the spinoff The Bourne Legacy. Focusing on an illicit CIA Treadstone offshoot that genetically enhances the killing skills of a small group of operatives, Gilroy introduces Jeremy Renner as new protagonist Aaron Cross. That character’s arc is woven into several plot lines from the last movie, something that expands Bourne’s universe to the point where another Bourne film could certainly be possible. In a wide ranging interview, Gilroy talks about that challenge, why the mid-budget thriller game that built his career is facing extinction, why screenwriters are so slighted, and how all Hollywood processes the Aurora, Colorado massacre, wondering if movies should be less violent.

DEADLINE: The Bourne Ultimatum ended with Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass bowing out, and then Damon disparaged your Bourne Ultimatum script. And here you’ve come back with a spinoff film that expands the universe and makes a Jason Bourne return more plausible. Given all the past acrimony, what drew you back?

GILROY: I didn’t feel that acrimony. I turned in a draft of Ultimatum and it got green lit, and then I went off and directed Michael Clayton. I was really out of it. But the last thing I ever thought I would do would come back and write one, much less ever direct it. It was just so not on my radar at all. When all that other stuff happened, I read about it, probably through you. Long after, the guys from the Ludlum estate came to New York and wanted to have a cup of coffee. My brother was working for them at the time; I didn’t want to be rude. It was pretty much a courtesy meeting. I went in and they expressed all their frustrations with how to go forward. It was like, what do they do? Where could they go? You can imagine all the wacky ideas that everybody had been banging around. Read More »

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‘Nitro Circus 3D’ Trailer Bashes ‘Bourne’

Sports comedy Nitro Circus The Movie 3D is essentially a PG-13 X Games meets Jackass bringing back Travis Pastrana and his adrenaline-junkie pals. It was dated for August 10th until Universal put The Bourne Legacy against it. So ARC Entertainment and Godfrey Entertainment moved their pic … Read More »

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Hot TV Spot: ‘The Bourne Legacy’

By | Wednesday July 11, 2012 @ 6:10pm PDT

This 60-second spot for Universal‘s The Bourne Legacy aired during a TNT marathon of the Bourne movies this past weekend and allows for a better view of things than the spots we showed you over the weekend. The pic, starring Jeremy Renner in a franchise reboot, opens … Read More »

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Three TV Spots: ‘The Bourne Legacy’

By | Saturday July 7, 2012 @ 3:20pm PDT

Here’s a trio of TV spots for Universal‘s The Bourne Legacy — even more tensely and tightly edited than what has preceded them. Blink and you might miss anything that happens to be new:

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‘Bourne Legacy’ Delaying Release Because Of ‘Total Recall and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

BREAKING… Universal just announced that it is moving The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner off its August 3rd release date to August 10 to get out of the way of both Sony’s Total Recall and Warner Bros/Legendary’s The Dark Knight Rises. In addition, the studio says … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Bourne Legacy’ With Jeremy Renner

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 10:25am PDT
Mike Fleming

Universal Pictures has just released a new trailer for The Bourne Legacy, the Tony Gilroy-directed spinoff film that stars Jeremy Renner as a Treadstone assassin, same as Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne in the Robert Ludlum novels. The surprise in this trailer is how much Jason Bourne there … Read More »

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Universal Rolls Out New Footage As Travolta, Theron, Renner, Stewart Hit CinemaCon

Pete Hammond

Universal may have been the last of the seven studios participating here in Las Vegas at CinemaCon but their one-hour-and-forty-minute presentation today at Caesars Palace’s Colisseum theatre was perhaps the starriest of all. Hosted with confidence and self-deprecating humor by the studio’s chairman and 13 year U veteran  Adam Fogelson, the exec made good use of Universal Footage Cineconhis background as the studio’s former marketing head to really sell their summer slate – and beyond – with good old- fashioned star power and well-chosen clips. In addition to extended looks at their summer lineup, the show also featured the first glimpse anywhere of footage from upcoming movies Les Miserables, 47 Ronin, Oblivion which just started shooting with Tom Cruise, next summer’s R.I.P.D., and a specially produced animated piece just for CinemaCon to announce the 2013 arrival of Despicable Me 2. But the clear emphasis was on this summer’s promising-looking lineup as Fogelson opened by saying, “it is a good time for Universal”, especially with the studio’s early 2012 box office success that he noted has made them No. 1 in market share so far this year with such films as Contraband, Safe House which has grossed over $200 million globally (Denzel Washington’s second biggest hit), American Reunion which Fogelson said will also surpass the $200 million global figure before it’s done as well as The Lorax which he noted is one of only three animated films since July 2010 to clear $200 million domestically – and two of them are from the studio’s partnership with Illumination. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Bourne Legacy’

By | Wednesday February 8, 2012 @ 10:06am PST
Mike Fleming

Universal has just released its first trailer for The Bourne Legacy, the Tony Gilroy-directed spinoff of the studio’s blockbuster Bourne Identity series. This time, Jeremy Renner takes center stage as the protagonist. Coming off The Hurt Locker and Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol, Renner’s growing into action hero mode. Will the film … Read More »

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UPDATE: Paramount Says Jeremy Renner Never Told ‘Extra’ He’s Taking Over ‘Mission: Impossible’ From Tom Cruise

2ND UPDATE 8:30 PM: Extra has now revised its website. Here is the full account of how Jeremy Renner replied to the question about “the rumors his Mission: Impossible character might possibly take over Read More »

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Universal And Captivate Target Next Robert Ludlum Thriller: ‘The Janson Directive’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After getting the spinoff film The Bourne Legacy into production with Tony Gilroy directing his script and Jeremy Renner starring, Universal Pictures, Captivate Entertainment and Ludlum Entertainment are moving forward with another feature adaptation of a Robert Ludlum thriller novel. The studio has hired John Hlavin to script The Janson Directive, one of the last novels Ludlum wrote before he died in 2001. Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner are producing through Captivate, which has a first look Universal deal. The production company just signed with UTA.

Published a year after Ludlum’s death, The Janson Directive focuses on Paul Janson, an ex-Navy SEAL and former member of the covert government agency Consular Operations. In the book, he is haunted by memories of the Vietnam War and his mentor and commanding officer, whose sadistic side prompted him to turn Janson over to the enemy to be tortured. Janson escaped and provided the evidence of war crimes that caused his CO’s execution. Years later, Janson is a corporate security consultant who takes a job rescuing an important man, but when the job goes awry, Janson is targeted for a “beyond salvage” termination order. He has no choice but to follow the clues that lead him to a massive scandal. Read More »

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Oscar Isaac Is ‘Bourne’ Again In Robert Ludlum Thriller Spinoff

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Not long ago, newcomer Oscar Isaac tested for Tony Gilroy and the lead role in Universal’s The Bourne Legacy and made such a strong impression that the director seriously considered giving the actor the lead role that went to … Read More »

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Universal Chooses Jeremy Renner For ‘The Bourne Legacy’

By | Thursday April 21, 2011 @ 5:47pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: The search is over. Universal Pictures has formally offered Jeremy Renner the lead role in the Tony Gilroy-directed The Bourne Legacy. Renner, who has been nominated for Oscars the past two years for his work in The Hurt Read More »

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Universal And Jeff Zucker Turn Daniel Silva Novels Into Spy Film Franchise

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While the focus at Universal Pictures is on who’ll play the lead in The Bourne Legacy for writer/director Tony Gilroy, the studio has plugged itself into another espionage novel franchise. And former NBC Uni CEO Jeff Zucker is at … Read More »

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