Matt Damon's status with regards to the "Bourne" franchise has been uncertain. In June, Universal made a bid for franchise continuity when it tapped Tony Gilroy, writer of the first three "Bourne" flicks, to pen the script for the fourth film. Gilroy was asked not only to draft the script — tentatively titled "The Bourne Legacy" — but to construct a franchise bible, suggesting the studio has big-screen plans for the franchise that extend behind the fourth installment in the series.
Universal has now brought Gilroy even more into the "Bourne" fold, according to
target="_blank">Deadline.com, which reports that the studio has tapped him to direct the next film in the series.
"Legacy" was originally slated for a 2012 release date, but the project currently has no set schedule, nor is the status of Damon's involvement any more clear. The actor has stated he has no interest in stepping back into the role of Jason Bourne if Paul Greengrass, who directed the previous two installments of the franchise, is not behind the camera.
But Damon's name continues to pop up in reports about the film's development. Might he return to the franchise now that Gilroy, a steady "Bourne" presence, is directing? Gilroy has previously helmed the uneven "Duplicity" and the critically lauded "Michael Clayton," and he received an Oscar nomination for the latter.
Though Damon remains a question mark, "Bourne Legacy" has become a big priority for Universal. With a director in place, the studio will likely now focus on locking in acting talent.
For his part, Damon has cracked the door open to returning. "We don't want to risk [the franchise]; we really love it, we love the character and the three films. Doug Liman did the first one, and Paul did the second two," Damon told MTV News in December. "There's no reason to mess with it, unless you have a really good one to follow it up with."
MTV News' request for comment to Universal was not returned as of press time.