With the runaway, international success of 2002's The Bourne Identity, the world had been re-introduced to not only the character of trained assassin Jason Bourne (memorialized in Robert Ludlum's best-selling books), but to an anomaly that summer moviegoers crave—a blockbuster with both style and substance.With the runaway, international success of 2002's The Bourne Identity, the world had been re-introduced to not only the character of trained assassin Jason Bourne (memorialized in Robert Ludlum's best-selling books), but to an anomaly that summer moviegoers crave—a blockbuster with both style and substance."We made an intellectual spy film, a paranoid thriller, but we did it in an unconventional way," remembers producer Frank Marshall."We made an intellectual spy film, a paranoid thriller, but we did it in an unconventional way," remembers producer Frank Marshall.Matt Damon remembers, "I was not the first person to come to mind for a project such as The Bourne Identity. I had to overcome that I look young, that I don't necessarily look like a stone cold killer. But by playing against expectation, I felt like it was a real chance to do something different than I'd seen in other action movies.We worked very hard to tie me into as many of the situations and stunts as possible, to give my performance believability."

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Supremacy, the second in his successful series of spy thrillers featuring trained assassin Jason Bourne, was published in 1986. It spent 25 weeks on The New York Times Best-Seller List with eight weeks at #1. Veteran film producers Marshall and Patrick Crowley were committed to the innovative storytelling and unconventional approach which led their first film to global box office success and on to become the number one home video/DVD rental of 2003.

The taut suspense and character-driven action of The Bourne Identity were achieved through a variety of elements that they were determined to bring back—to pump new life into the time honored espionage thriller. They needed to keep fresh the take on Robert Ludlum's classic story about an amnesiac trained assassin who is slowly waking to the reality of his past.

So Marshall and Crowley worked with screenwriter Tony Gilroy (co-screenwriter of The Bourne Identity) to come up with a story worthy of the journey Jason Bourne embarked on in the first film. Frank Marshall comments, "We did not set out to make a sequel.

What worked so well in the first film was that so much of it was unexpected—casting against type, going for something beyond a chase and action movie. So if your goal is to make a sequel to that, you've just defeated yourself because it'll be expected." "One of the things that always impressed us in all the early screenings of Bourne Identity," says producer Patrick Crowley, "is people would say 'Wow, I really appreciate that you made us think, that you didn't tell us what was going on.' And you kind of have to deliver the same goods again, but it has to be better this time."

Damon observes, "We held to the idea that the action is always developing the character, that it grows right out of the story. We really wanted to build a story where the action was integrated into the characters and their situations—so that you might be able to believe that these are kind of ordinary people pushed into extraordinary circumstances. It sort of defies the customary action formula, and I feel it's one of the compelling things about Bourne's continuing story." Marshall agrees, "The action is driven by character, and the characters' motivations are driven by realistic events—there's not just action for the sake of action."

Having left Jason and Marie finally safe and in a sunny seaside village on the coast of Greece, the filmmakers needed to find a way of starting up the story again. "Quite simply, we needed to find a way to get Jason Bourne back in the fray," says producer Marshall, "but we weren't interested in the standard revenge tale. While that does play a part in it, we were looking for something more."

Picking Up the Thread From the outset, the Bourne stories presented certain challenges to the filmmakers. Ludlum's immensely popular books were written against the backdrop of the Cold War, with the looming presence of the infamous international terrorist called Carlos. But as Ludlum's long-time friend and literary agent Henry Morrison explains, "The Cold War, per se, was not the important thing to him. It was what was happening to people, and how multinational companies and governments were beginning to manipulate and restrict people. That was what he was writing about."

The success of the fist film is a testament to the durability of Ludlum's enigmatic central character and the ability of the filmmakers to present a new kind of action hero in a fresh type of action movie.

The filmmakers had proven that they could successfully take Bourne out of the Cold War and transport him into a 21st century world where black-and-white villains and heroes no longer exist. As with the first film, they borrowed a plot point from Ludlum's story to serve as a springboard, this time for Jason Bourne's return.

"There was an incident with Marie in the second book where she gets kidnapped and held as a ransom in order to force him back," Frank Marshall explains the kernels of the second story. "And there was a line in the first film when he threatens to come after them if they ever come near him again." Starting with little more than those two ideas, screenwriter Tony Gilroy took a chance.

"We didn't want to do another film if we couldn't do something really cool," Gilroy explains. Actor Matt Damon concurs, "When The Bourne Identity came out I said, 'There is very little chance we will do a second film, just because nobody on the team who made the first wants to make another movie if it can't be as good as, or better than, the first one.'"

"We knew we had to do something pretty radical," says Marshall of what was needed to capture the momentum of the first film, "and then Tony came up with this amazing idea that Jason Bourne would go on what amounts to the samurai's journey, this journey of atonement." "In terms of Tony veering away from the plot of the book, it's true," notes producer Paul L. Sandberg.

"We kept the character, his initial predicament, the feel of the story—but we had to change the story, Bourne's journey, because so much of the world has changed since the book's publication." If filmmakers were going to make another film with Bourne at the center, everyone had to be convinced it was worthwhile.

"I wrote a long letter to Matt," Gilroy recalls, "and explained why we couldn't do the normal things you would do in a movie like this. You can't have a revenge movie because Jason Bourne is an assassin—Jason Bourne killed people and he doesn't start the movie with a clean slate. There's a lot of blood on his hands, so a revenge movie didn't feel right. He wasn't healed yet, all he did was say, 'Wow, I know who I am, I know what I did, and I don't want to do that anymore.' But is that enough? So that was a starting point for Supremacy."

For Damon, Gilroy's ideas for the second film evolved naturally from the first. "You see him continue on this journey that he started on when he got pulled out of the sea in the first one. This was the logical direction for him to keep going as he continues trying to reintegrate himself into the human race." With the outline for a compelling story and the script underway, everyone knew that now the key factor in bringing the film together was finding the right director.

"Tony told me to look at a movie called Bloody Sunday," recalls producer Frank Marshall. "He said that it had a verisimilitude, a reality to it, that made you feel like you were right in it. We went out and got the movie and thought it was fantastic."

Bloody Sunday is British director Paul Greengrass' dynamic recreation of January 30, 1972 in Derry, Northern Ireland, when a peaceful civil rights march ended in bloodshed; the film won numerous awards worldwide, including the Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Greengrass had a visual style with an edgy immediacy that was perfect for Bourne.

Crowley, who has a background in documentaries, was impressed with Greengrass' film. "I was really knocked out by it. He knew how to create scenes that looked as if they'd been achieved spontaneously and realistically. His sense of the camera as participatory viewer really suited the continuation of Jason's story—his visual style matches with the anti-hero, the gritty very realistic settings, the lack of customary Hollywood story beats in Supremacy." "I liked Bourne Identity," Greengrass recalls, "I went on a date to see it, on the spur of the moment.

It was a fresh-looking film, one that really married an independent sort of feel with a mainstream Hollywood sensibility." Producer Sandberg notes, "Paul Greengrass brings a willingness to approach things from a non-standard fashion, which has proved to be key to the Bourne series. He comes in as a European outsider, if you will, and that informs everything he does—from how he lights his shots to how he motivates his actors. He really stepped up to the plate in collaborating with all of the creative participants, discussing his vision with Tony and helping to formulate and reformulate to bring out what he felt was important as a director simultaneously with what Matt felt was important for the character." To the director, who started his career as an investigative journalist and award-winning documentary and feature-film director, the idea of doing something totally different was intriguing.

"I was wanting a bit of adventure in life and feeling that I'd done a few films of similar type. Sometimes you need to kind of do something totally different to find out what it's like, totally new actors, totally new technicians—it's good for you and it teaches you something." Greengrass flew to Prague to meet with actor Matt Damon, who was shooting there.

"The genius of the franchise, and I do think of it as a genius of a franchise," explains the director, "is Matt Damon playing Jason Bourne. He is an utterly fresh character and that's what Matt brings to it—because everybody knows Matt is basically a good guy in terms of personae. He projects goodness.

So then if you create a character who is basically a very dark character, a contract killer, with all the capabilities of a contract killer, and point him toward the light and get Matt Damon to play it, you've got an absolutely compelling character."

"Unconsidered" is the word Greengrass uses to describe the quality he wanted to bring to the film; it was what he looked for in every aspect of the filmmaking, particularly in the way the camera was employed.

"I think that one of the things that made the first film fresh," he says, "is that it was quite lose with a little bit of handheld in there and it wasn't straightforward, conventional storytelling. I think the story needs to feel like it's unfolding against a clock in a short timeframe and I think you need to feel like Bourne is leading you through this film. "It's the difference between a knowing and an unknowing camera," the director continues. "A knowing camera is telling the story, because it knows where the action is going to be.

And I think what's appropriate for this film is that the camera tells the story because it's reacting to what's in front of it. Both are contrivances because the truth is you don't just turn up and react, you need to judge it, but the net effect is to create a visceral urgency, a sense of immediacy."

Adds Damon, "Paul Greengrass really understands the character of Jason Bourne, the fact that he's a guy—even though he happens to be a trained assassin—who is swept up in these puzzling circumstances that force him down a certain path. I thought Bloody Sunday was one of the best films in recent years. Paul's ability to capture the classic 'man versus the world' conflict in a cinematically distinctive style is remarkable." Greengrass notes, "I think this film is not so much about a man who's lost his memory, although that is a part of it—but it's more about what happens when you've recovered your memory and realized that you're actually a bad man."

With the runaway, international success of 2002's The Bourne Identity, the world had been re-introduced to not only the character of trained assassin Jason Bourne (memorialized in Robert Ludlum's best-selling books), but to an anomaly that summer moviegoers crave—a blockbuster with both style and substance.With the runaway, international success of 2002's The Bourne Identity, the world had been re-introduced to not only the character of trained assassin Jason Bourne (memorialized in Robert Ludlum's best-selling books), but to an anomaly that summer moviegoers crave—a blockbuster with both style and substance."We made an intellectual spy film, a paranoid thriller, but we did it in an unconventional way," remembers producer Frank Marshall."We made an intellectual spy film, a paranoid thriller, but we did it in an unconventional way," remembers producer Frank Marshall.Matt Damon remembers, "I was not the first person to come to mind for a project such as The Bourne Identity. I had to overcome that I look young, that I don't necessarily look like a stone cold killer. But by playing against expectation, I felt like it was a real chance to do something different than I'd seen in other action movies.We worked very hard to tie me into as many of the situations and stunts as possible, to give my performance believability."

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Supremacy, the second in his successful series of spy thrillers featuring trained assassin Jason Bourne, was published in 1986. It spent 25 weeks on The New York Times Best-Seller List with eight weeks at #1. Veteran film producers Marshall and Patrick Crowley were committed to the innovative storytelling and unconventional approach which led their first film to global box office success and on to become the number one home video/DVD rental of 2003.

The taut suspense and character-driven action of The Bourne Identity were achieved through a variety of elements that they were determined to bring back—to pump new life into the time honored espionage thriller. They needed to keep fresh the take on Robert Ludlum's classic story about an amnesiac trained assassin who is slowly waking to the reality of his past.

So Marshall and Crowley worked with screenwriter Tony Gilroy (co-screenwriter of The Bourne Identity) to come up with a story worthy of the journey Jason Bourne embarked on in the first film. Frank Marshall comments, "We did not set out to make a sequel.

What worked so well in the first film was that so much of it was unexpected—casting against type, going for something beyond a chase and action movie. So if your goal is to make a sequel to that, you've just defeated yourself because it'll be expected." "One of the things that always impressed us in all the early screenings of Bourne Identity," says producer Patrick Crowley, "is people would say 'Wow, I really appreciate that you made us think, that you didn't tell us what was going on.' And you kind of have to deliver the same goods again, but it has to be better this time."

Damon observes, "We held to the idea that the action is always developing the character, that it grows right out of the story. We really wanted to build a story where the action was integrated into the characters and their situations—so that you might be able to believe that these are kind of ordinary people pushed into extraordinary circumstances. It sort of defies the customary action formula, and I feel it's one of the compelling things about Bourne's continuing story." Marshall agrees, "The action is driven by character, and the characters' motivations are driven by realistic events—there's not just action for the sake of action."

Having left Jason and Marie finally safe and in a sunny seaside village on the coast of Greece, the filmmakers needed to find a way of starting up the story again. "Quite simply, we needed to find a way to get Jason Bourne back in the fray," says producer Marshall, "but we weren't interested in the standard revenge tale. While that does play a part in it, we were looking for something more."

Picking Up the Thread From the outset, the Bourne stories presented certain challenges to the filmmakers. Ludlum's immensely popular books were written against the backdrop of the Cold War, with the looming presence of the infamous international terrorist called Carlos. But as Ludlum's long-time friend and literary agent Henry Morrison explains, "The Cold War, per se, was not the important thing to him. It was what was happening to people, and how multinational companies and governments were beginning to manipulate and restrict people. That was what he was writing about."

The success of the fist film is a testament to the durability of Ludlum's enigmatic central character and the ability of the filmmakers to present a new kind of action hero in a fresh type of action movie.

The filmmakers had proven that they could successfully take Bourne out of the Cold War and transport him into a 21st century world where black-and-white villains and heroes no longer exist. As with the first film, they borrowed a plot point from Ludlum's story to serve as a springboard, this time for Jason Bourne's return.


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