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"Bourne Legacy" to Be Bourne-Free

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Filmmaker Tony Gilroy attends "The Boys Are Back" premiere at Cinema 2 on September 23, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tony Gilroy

    Not only is Matt Damon not going to appear in "Bourne Legacy," neither is the film's title character.

    Having read the same news as the rest of us about the film he's writing and directing, Tony Gilroy called Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Nowhere to set some things straight.

    The upcoming "Bourne Legacy" "will not use the story," of Robert Ludlum's book, just the title, Gilroy told Wells.

    "It's a completely original screenplay... This is not a reboot or a recast or a prequel. No one's replacing Matt Damon. There will be a whole new hero, a whole new chapter...this is a stand-alone project.

    "The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal," Gilroy says. "Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he's very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for what happens. I'm building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy...the world we're making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne's return [down the road].

    "Everything you saw in the first three films actually happened, and everyone who got into will be rewarded for paying attention. We're going to show you the bigger picture, the bigger canvas. When you see what we're going and see what we're doing it'll be pretty obvious....but Jason Bourne's activities in the first three films is the immediate trigger."

    This all makes sense to us conceptually, but we have a hard time squaring the "Bourne" title with Jason Bourne nowhere in sight. It feels like a cheat. Gilroy's earned enough goodwill that we're game for anything he wants to show us, but still, this ain't cool.