Damon: Jason Bourne’s story ‘has now been told’

Except for the movie “Good Will Hunting,” Academy Award-winner Matt Damon says there hasn’t been a role that’s had a bigger impact on his life and career than that of Jason Bourne in the thrilling “Bourne” espionage franchise.

The newest installment, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” opens Friday. Purportedly the final film in the series, it’s said to nicely tie up all the loose ends and bring closure for the iconic character.

During a recent interview in Los Angeles to promote the film, Damon said, “I love the Jason Bourne character but I kind of feel like the story that we set out to tell about him has now been told with this film.”

“And if there is to be another movie, it would have to be a complete reconfiguration,” he said. “I mean, where do you go from here? This guy’s search for his identity is over because he’s now got all the answers. So there’s no way that we can try and trot out the same character. If we were to come out with a fourth movie and suddenly I got bonked on the head, people would be like, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

At the same time, Damon knows better than to be absolute.

“I should never say never because if director Paul Greengrass calls me in 10 years and tells me now we can do it and he has a way to bring him back, then absolutely I’m on board,” he said.

It would mean staying in tip-top shape, especially if the next “Bourne” film is as physically challenging as he says this one was. Now 36, Damon was 29 when he made “The Bourne Identity.” In making the new “Ultimatum,” he “definitely” felt his age, given that in one big fight scene he was up against 23-year-old Joey Ansah.

“I was like, ‘Dude, you’ve got to slow down — you’re killing me,’” he said. “I think it cost the studio a couple of extra days of filming my scenes because I’m a little older now.”

He’s a bit wiser, too. Damon realizes he has become quite an audience pleaser, not just with the “Bourne” movies, but with the “Ocean’s” films, too.

“I’m trying to only do franchises now,” he said, laughing. “But really, I’m open to any good movie. If I enjoy the experience and I love the people that I’m working with and if I feel it’s going to be a good movie I’ll make it, whether it’s a sequel or if it’s not.”

For Damon, it’s all about longevity.

“It’s so hard to have a long career in this business,” he said. “I’m still here after 10 years and everyone’s probably a little amazed by that. But I love everything about movies, the writing and acting. And I really want to direct. I’ve worked with some great directors over the years. So I feel that I’m ready to do it. I want to be smart about the work I’m doing and have integrity in the choices I make.”

Contact Lana K. Wilson-Combs at www.N2Entertainment.net.

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