How do you have a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne and the actor to play the eponymous role? The newest installment, The Bourne Legacy, answers that question with an action-packed, thrilling plot which expands upon author Robert Ludlum's ingenious world of covert operations. Check out the 10 reasons why the stars all align in the Bourne universe.
1. Matt Damon can re-enter the franchise.
The filmmakers understood it'd be a bad idea to replace Matt Damon's Bourne, so instead of pissing off the fans, they came up with a parallel plot centered on another program participant who's affected by Treadstone. The first half of Legacy takes place at the end of the Ultimatum timeline. Damon is free to return to the films if he desires, and it's definitely possible. Ludlum's novels involved Bourne well into middle age.
2. Any number of assassins can be featured.
While Legacy introduces us to Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross, it also flirts with the idea of featuring other program participants. We see snippets of these elite assassins, all within the same Outcome program. Apparently, it takes an assassin to kill one, so there are plenty of possibilities in which these agents can interact and cross paths.
3. Fight choreography and stunts are reality based.
Throughout the franchise, fight and stunt coordinators Jonathan Eusebio and Jeff Imada have brilliantly crafted realistic fight scenes without the need of James Bond-like gadgets. Don't have a gun? Amazing how a pen can be just as lethal a weapon with the right maneuvers.
4. Globe-trotting escapism.
Part of what makes the Bourne universe so much fun is its international scope. Every Bourne film throws in jet-setting, multiple identities and foreign locales, upping the ante for evading the CIA. Agents must think fast on their feet to blend in and adapt to their environment rather than rely on fancy cars or invisible hover crafts to whisk them away to safety.
5. Genetic alteration and behavior modification.
Legacy delves deeper into the details of Bourne's behavior modification program. Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz) specializes in the science of altering chromosomes, making Cross and other participants smarter, stronger, and more highly effective killing machines. Could they go so far as to program actual behavior? The possibilities are endless.
6. Opportunities for prequels and sequels.
Now that the Bourne universe has a strong foundation even without its central character, the door is open for more exploration. What happens next, and will there be a final conclusion? While fans might be very picky on who the actors would be, if Tony Gilroy -- who's penned the screenplays for the entire franchise -- continues to stick with it, a perennial story could continue to unravel.
7. Real-world complications.
There's no mission to save the universe, the world, or even a major city from annihilation. In fact, it's all real-world politics. Everyone's just trying to do their job and maintain damage control once things hit the media. What makes the Bourne universe much more interesting on a human level is how it weaves in questions of morality and motivation.
8. The Outcome program's reach.
First there was Treadstone, then Blackbriar, and now we find out the umbrella corporation for these operations is Outcome. It surpasses Pamela Landy and Bourne, "who was just the tip of the iceberg." It's global, patriotic, powerful and begs the greater question of how all these program participants were supposed to be used.
9. Room for a female counterpart.
Although no female assassin was shown in the past three Bourne films, Legacy does show a glimpse of a female program participant. Up until now, it seemed the Bourne universe was a man's world with only damsels in distress. But it would certainly be fun to go the femme fatale route as this world of espionage continues to expand.
10. Backstory leaves room for TV series.
Who was David Webb before he became Jason Bourne? And what happened to him and Nicky in the past? We're sure fans would be interested to know, and with so much background and material from the books that haven't even been touched, the small screen might be the place to elaborate Bourne's mysterious past.
Let us know what you think is best about the Bourne universe in the comments below.