Jason Bourne video debuts

A two-minute promotional video for Jason Bourne debuted on Monday as Universal continues to ramps up publicity for the spy movie coming out in July.

“I don’t mind being followed around by Jason Bourne, I like Jason Bourne,” star Matt Damon says in the video. “It’s been a defining role in the life.”

This time out, Damon says, Bourne “finds him in a really dark place, basically pounding other human beings into oblivion just to try to cope with the thoughts in his head.”

For Damon, it’s his fourth Bourne film and third with director Paul Greengrass, who also appears on the video.

Jason Bourne trailer debuts

The trailer for Jason Bourne, the fifth Bourne film from Universal, came out today.

The trailer, understandably, primarily features star Matt Damon, making his fourth Bourne film and third directed by Paul Greengrass. But it also gives viewers a bit more of a look at co-stars Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander.

The movie is due out in July.

Jason Bourne trailer scheduled for Thursday

The trailer for Jason Bourne, the fifth Bourne film from Universal and the fourth with Matt Damon, is scheduled to be released Thursday.

A six-second teaser for the trailer was sent out over Twitter on Monday. The tweet is embedded below.

Jason Bourne is due out in July. An advertisement for the film aired during the Super Bowl in February.

Jason Bourne ad debuts during Super Bowl

The new Bourne movie now has a title, simply Jason Bourne, and a 30-second ad aired during CBS’ telecast of the Super Bowl.

The ad didn’t reveal much, mostly showing Matt Damon in action as Bourne. Tommy Lee Jones wonders “why would he come back now?”

The movie, due out July 29, is the fifth Bourne film released by Universal and the fourth with Damon. The most recent entry in the series, 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, featured Jeremy Renner as another character, Aaron Cross.

Damon’s three previous movies were made from 2002 through 2007. Jason Bourne was directed by Paul Greengrass, who helmed Damon’s last two Bourne films, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.

Scott Mendelson, a writer at Forbes.com, has A COMMENTARY, where he speculates whether Jason Bourne will acknowledge the events of The Bourne Legacy. Meanwhile, you can watch the ad below.

Mendes: 007 had to thread needle between Bourne, Marvel

SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, had to thread a needle between Jason Bourne and movies from Marvel Studios on the other, Sam Mendes said earlier this month in New York.

“It’s very tricky… to walk the knife edge between, you know, Bourne on the one hand, which is brilliant, especially when done by (director) Paul Greengrass, and Marvel on the other,” Mendes said during an appearance at TimesTalk, part of events held by The New York Times, which sells tickets for people to attend.

“Bond is in this very narrow…you’re threading the needle,” Mendes added. “You only have so many tools you can use.”

The director of SPECTRE and Skyfall also acknowledged specific homages in SPECTRE to earlier Bond movies (Live And Let Die in the pre-titles sequence) and From Russia With Love (train fight between Bond and Hinx on the train).

“But sometimes people see a snow sequence and say, ‘Ah, The Spy Who Loved Me.’ No, it’s just a snow sequence.”

You can view other comments from Mendes and Craig on this video below, which the Times uploaded to YouTube. Note: the closed captioning has a few mistakes, including “marble” for Marvel.

Dr. No’s 50th anniversary conclusion: legacy


In evaluating the legacy of Dr. No as it approaches its 50th anniversary, start with the obvious: There’s still a 007 film series to talk about.

James Bond isn’t the biggest entertainment property in the world the way it was in 1965. But its longevity is unique. The five decades that have passed include more than a decade of enforced hiatus (a troublesome 1975 financial split between Eon co-founders Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman; a legal fight in the early 1990s between Broccoli and MGM; and MGM’s 2010 bankruptcy) disrupting production of the Bond movies. But the Bond films soldier on, with the 23rd entry in the Eon Productions’ series, Skyfall, coming out soon.

The series turned actor Sean Connery into a major star. It made Roger Moore, known mostly as a television star, into a movie star. The same applies to Pierce Brosnan. It made Daniel Craig a star. Even George Lazenby (one movie) and Timothy Dalton (two) who had limited runs as 007 are identified with the series.

The films generated new fans of Ian Fleming’s hero to the point that the movie 007 long ago outsized the influence of his literary counterpart. Finally, the film 007 helped form an untold number of friendships among Bond fans who would have never met otherwise.

All of that began with a modestly budgeted film, without a big-name star, led by a director for hire, Terence Young, who’d be instrumental in developing the cinema version of Agent 007. Dr. No, filmed in Jamaica and at Pinewood Studios, made all that followed possible.

Fans may fuss and feud about which Bond they like best. This 007 film or that may be disparaged by some fans, praised by others. The series may get rebooted. Bond may get recast. The tone of the entries may vary greatly.

In the end, Bond continues. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. can’t say that; The Avengers, the John Steed variety which debuted the year before Dr. No, can’t say that; Matt Helm can’t say that. In time, we suspect, Jason Bourne, which influenced recent 007 movies, won’t either.

Many of those responsible for Dr. No aren’t around to take the bows. They include producers Broccoli and Saltzman; director Young; screenwriter Richard Maibaum; editor Peter Hunt; United Artists studio executive Arthur Krim who greenlighted the project; Joseph Wiseman, who played the title charater, the first film Bond villain; Jack Lord, the first, and some fans say still the best, screen Felix Leiter, who’d become a major television star on Hawaii Five-O; art director Syd Cain, the main lieutenant for production designer Ken Adam; and composer John Barry who orchestrated Monty Norman’s James Bond Theme and who would later define 007 film music.

That’s too bad but that’s what happens with the passage of time. The final product, though remains. It’s all summed up with these words:

James Bond will return.

2005: a new 007 is cast; past is prologue

Seems hard to believe but it has been more than five years since Daniel Craig was cast as James Bond. While researching something else, we came across how The New York Times reported the story. There were a few things that caught our eye.

First, there was a comment from producer Michael G. Wilson, yet another refrain by Wilson of something he has been saying since the 1990s:

“We are running out of energy, mental energy,” Mr. Wilson recalled saying. “We need to generate something new, for ourselves.”

Yes, Wilson could not let the announcement pass without complaining about how tired he was. We’ve written before about Wilson’s complaints about how exhausting it is to make James Bond movies, as close as a movie producer can be to having a guaranteed sale. So add this to the list.

Next, then-NYT reporter Sharon Waxman (now editor-in-chief of The Wrap, an entertainment-news Web site) quoted studio executives she didn’t identify concerning the new direction the 007 film series would take now that it had a new leading man:

For both Ms. (Barbara) Broccoli and Sony, executives said, the model was Jason Bourne, the character Matt Damon successfully incarnated in two gritty spy movies for Universal Pictures, “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy.”

Note, this was published in Ocotober of 2005, months before cameras would start rolling on Casino Royale. There wasn’t a public hint that Eon Productions was even thinking about emulating the Bourne films, something that reached its peak in the first 20 minutes or so of 2008’s Quantum of Solace. In that film, the Eon team even hired Dan Bradley, second unit director of the Bourne movies. After Casino Royale, producer Broccoli said Bourne was never a consideration in interviews SUCH AS THIS ONE WITH UGO.COM and that Casino was inspired by From Russia With Love, not Jason Bourne.

Finally, there was this passage in the NYT story, citing Amy Pascal, chairman of Sony’s Columbia Pictures:

Ms. Pascal said fans would have to wait to see the movie before judging Mr. Craig. As for the online criticism, she observed: “Well, he is tall. He’s the same size as Sean Connery.”

Now, for the record, HMSS gave both Daniel Craig and Casino Royale a number of favorable reviews. So what we’re about to say isn’t a jab at Craig. It should be noted what Pascal said is demonstrably incorrect.

Connery, depending on your source, is generally listed at 6-foot-2 or so. Daniel Craig, again depending on the source, at around 5-foot-10. Now 5-foot-10 isn’t a midget by any means. But it’s a good four inches shorter than 6-foot-2. If Pascal wanted to brush off criticism of the choice, there were all sorts of other things to say. Don’t say something that doesn’t stand up to the tiniest bit of scrutiny.

A Bourne movie without Bourne? Here’s hoping Eon doesn’t copy that idea

Eon Productions has been “inspired” by the Jason Bourne franchise in its last two James Bond films starring Daniel Craig. 007 has been grim, not showing much in the way of humor and, with Quantum of Solace, there were lots of shaky camera shots and it even had Bourne’s second-unit director Dan Bradley.

The Bourne franchise is about to make its boldest move yet, as EXPLAINED IN THIS YAHOO MOVIES STORY:

The next film will be called “The Bourne Legacy,” but even though the name’s in the title, the film will have no Jason Bourne. Thus, no Matt Damon. Interestingly enough, the book “The Bourne Legacy” does have Jason Bourne (though it wasn’t actually written by Robert Ludlum, the creator of the book series).

On the Hollywood Elsewhere Web site, new director Tony Gilroy describes it like this:

“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].

OK. Grim avenger Bond? That’s one way to play the part. Shaky camera? It’s kind of an in-thing among filmmakers these days. But we would not be interested in a James Bond movie without James Bond just to explain what the criminal organization Quantum is all about. (And yes, we can already hear a joke one of our 007 friends would tell based on this posting.)

U.N.C.L.E. wins Mister 8’s May Madness

The results have not been declared official but it appears The Man From U.N.C.L.E., a TV series that went off the air in January 1968, won the May Madness competition of fellow COBRA Mister 8’s May Madness.

The website hasn’t declared a winner but the voting was supposed to end at midnight last night, and the vote was 395 for U.N.C.L.E. and 197 for Queen & Country’s Tara Chace.

Mister 8 patterned the competition after the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament, with James Bond and Jason Bourne being the “highest seeded” fictional spies. Tara Chace, created by writer Greg Rucka, defeated 007 in the first round. U.N.C.L.E., after narrowly defeating Get Smart in the initial round, knocked off Bourne.

UPDATE: Mister 8 on June 11 has officially declared The Man From U.N.C.L.E. the winner. We’ve alerted our headline as a result.

Matt Damon disses 007

Matt Damon, star of the Bourne films, gave an interview to the Miami Herald. He’s definitely not a James Bond fan. He also indicates that director Steven Sonderberg also took took a pass when offered a chance by Eon to helm a Bond production.

From the article:

”They could never make a James Bond movie like any of the Bourne films,” Damon says scornfully. “Because Bond is an imperialist, misogynist sociopath who goes around bedding women and swilling martinis and killing people. He’s repulsive.

“Steve [Soderbergh, who produced yet another of Damon’s spy movies, Syriana] told me that years ago he was offered a Bond movie. He told them he’d do it if they gave him creative control. Absolutely not, they said. They have a formula, they stick to it, and it makes them a lot of money. They know what they’re doing, and they’re going to keep doing it.”

For the entire article, click RIGHT HERE.

Meanwhile at the film blog of the Guardian, the question is posed whether Damon (who’s committed to doing a fourth Bourne movie) is throwing stones from a glass house given the Bourneification of the 007 franchise.

For that article, just click RIGHT HERE.