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Bourne (film series)

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Title: Bourne (film series)  
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Bourne (film series)

The Bourne Trilogy
DVD set of The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
Directed by Identity
Doug Liman
Paul Greengrass
Tony Gilroy
Produced by Patrick Crowley
Frank Marshall
Doug Liman
Andrew R. Tennenbaum
Screenplay by Tony Gilroy
William Blake Herron (Identity)
Scott Z. Burns
George Nolfi (Ultimatum)
Dan Gilroy (Legacy)
Based on The Bourne Series 
by Robert Ludlum
Starring Matt Damon
Jeremy Renner
Julia Stiles
Joan Allen
Music by John Powell
James Newton Howard
Cinematography Oliver Wood
Robert Elswit
Editing by Identity:
Saar Klein
Richard Pearson
Christopher Rouse
Christopher Rouse
John Gilroy
Studio The Kennedy/Marshall Company
Relativity Media
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s)
Running time 477 minutes[1][2][3][4]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $370 million
Box office Domestic:

The Bourne films are a series of action/thriller spy films based on the character Jason Bourne, a CIA assassin suffering from extreme memory loss,[6] created by author Robert Ludlum.

All three of Ludlum's novels were adapted for the screen, featuring Matt Damon as the titular character in each. Doug Liman directed The Bourne Identity (2002), Paul Greengrass directed The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Tony Gilroy co-wrote each film and directed The Bourne Legacy (2012).

Damon chose not to return for the fourth film. The character of Jason Bourne does not appear in Legacy, but mention of his name and pictures of Damon as Bourne are shown throughout the film.

The series is noted for its realism, in contrast to the growing use of computer-generated imagery in the action genre.[7]


The Bourne Identity

A man (Matt Damon) is found floating in the Mediterranean Sea with two gunshot wounds in his back and a device with the number of a Swiss safe deposit box embedded in his hip. Upon reaching shore, the man assumes the name Jason Bourne after finding a passport under the name in the safe deposit box, along with other international passports, large amounts of assorted currencies, and a gun. He subsequently attempts to discover his true identity while countering attempts on his life by CIA assassins, eventually realizing that he is one such assassin who failed to complete his most recent mission. Bourne breaks his connections to the CIA and unites with Marie Kreutz (Franka Potente), a woman who helped him learn about his most recent actions prior to his memory loss. Bourne's conflict with the CIA reaches a climax when he takes the fight to their doorstep.

The Bourne Supremacy

Some two years after learning that he is a trained assassin and breaking his connections with the CIA, Jason Bourne is framed for a crime connected to one of his past missions. A subsequent attempt on his life results in Marie's death, so he decides to take revenge by hunting down those responsible for her death and his forgotten past, thinking that the CIA is hunting him again. Bourne discovers that Ward Abbott (Brian Cox), one of the men who oversaw Operation Treadstone, the program which trained Bourne to be an assassin, stole millions of dollars from the CIA. Abbott meant to implicate Bourne in the theft with the frame-up, which would have led the CIA on a wild goose chase had Bourne been killed as intended. Bourne exposes Abbott to Pamela Landy (Joan Allen), the CIA agent in charge of finding Bourne, and Abbott commits suicide. During a long car chase with Bourne, the Russian agent who was paid to kill him and was responsible for Marie's death is killed, and Bourne goes into hiding.

The Bourne Ultimatum

After six weeks of hiding, Bourne learns that a British journalist has been investigating his past and contacts him to find out who his source is. Bourne is subsequently targeted by Operation Blackbriar, an upgraded Operation Treadstone, which has also taken note of the investigation. Believing that Bourne is a threat and is seeking revenge, Blackbriar's director Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) begins a new hunt for Bourne. Bourne manages to take classified documents proving that Blackbriar has targeted U.S. citizens; he is aided by Landy, who disagreed with Vosen from the beginning and does not support Blackbriar's existence, and former Treadstone logistics technician Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles). She may have had romantic feelings for Bourne before his final mission and resultant amnesia. Bourne finally comes face to face with the person who oversaw his behavioral modification as the first Treadstone operative some years earlier, memories of which resurface. Those responsible for Treadstone and Blackbriar are exposed, and Bourne goes underground.

The Bourne Legacy

Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) is a member of Operation Outcome, a United States Department of Defense black ops program which enhances the physical and mental abilities of field operatives through pills referred to as "chems". Cross is deployed to Alaska for a training assignment, crosses rugged terrain to reach a cabin operated by an exiled Outcome operative. The Blackbriar and Treadstone programs are publicly exposed, leading the FBI and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to investigate those involved. Retired Air Force Colonel Eric Byer (Edward Norton), who is responsible for overseeing the CIA's clandestine operations, decides to end Outcome and kill its agents. Cross manages to survive several attempts on his life and seeks a way to get more chems, as his have run out. Cross eventually comes upon Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), his last link to gain more chems. He discovers she has no pills but that his physical enhancements have actually "viraled-out" and are now genetically permanent, so he no longer needs those. He reveals to her that without the help of the mental enhancements, he possesses an unfortunately well below-average IQ. To avoid this mental regression, and the hunting CIA operatives, the two travel to a factory in Manila and with Shearing's help, Cross survives the possible mortal process of "viraling-out" of his dependency of the remaining mental enhancing pills. They evade additional attempts on their lives and successfully escape from the Philippines on a junk ship.


Universal confirmed at a media conference in Los Angeles, California, that they have plans to release more Bourne films, despite Legacy being given mixed reviews by critics.[8] In a December 2012 interview, Matt Damon has revealed that he and Paul Greengrass are interested in returning for the next film as Jason Bourne and the director respectively. Damon is reported as saying that he had not seen Legacy yet, but intends to as he is not only curious to see how it turned out, but because he has enjoyed Jeremy Renner in everything he has seen him in. Damon does however believe that if he is to return for the next film, Renner would not likely be in it too and it would not have Bourne and Cross joining forces and working together.[9] On November 8, 2013, however, Deadline reported that the fifth installment in the franchise will feature Renner's Cross, not Damon's Bourne, with Justin Lin directing. [10]

Treadstone, Blackbriar, and Outcome

Each black-ops assassination programme is a successor of the previous one. The original, Treadstone, was shut down after Bourne escaped with his life and Alexander Conklin was killed for his actions in the first film. Blackbriar, formed specifically to kill Bourne after he resurfaced in Paris and Moscow, was closed after Bourne and Pamela Landy faxed the kills of Blackbriar to a major news station. Outcome followed, enhancing the assets' abilities far beyond the limits of any previous programme, relying on their taking pills known as "chems" which heightened their performance blue for mental, and green for physical.

Cast and characters

Character Film
The Bourne Identity The Bourne Supremacy The Bourne Ultimatum The Bourne Legacy
Jason Bourne/David Webb Matt Damon
Nicky Parsons Julia Stiles
Marie Helena Kreutz Franka Potente (Flashback)
Alexander Conklin Chris Cooper (Flashback)
Ward Abbott Brian Cox (Flashback)
Danny Zorn Gabriel Mann
The Professor Clive Owen
Nykwana Wombosi Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Pamela Landy Joan Allen
Tom Cronin Tom Gallop
Kirill Karl Urban
Jarda Marton Csokas
Noah Vosen David Strathairn
Martin Kreutz Daniel Brühl
Ezra Kramer Scott Glenn
Dr. Albert Hirsch Albert Finney
Ray Wills Corey Johnson
Simon Ross Paddy Considine (Flashback)
Desh Bouksani Joey Ansah
Paz Edgar Ramirez (Flashback)
Kiley Scott Adkins
Aaron Cross/Kenneth Kitsom Jeremy Renner
Dr. Marta Shearing Rachel Weisz
Eric Byer Edward Norton
Mark Turso Stacy Keach
Number 3 Oscar Isaac
LARX 3 Louis Ozawa Changchien


The Bourne series was met with both critical and commercial success. Ultimatum won three Academy Awards: Best Film Editing, Sound, and Best Sound Editing.[11] Both Supremacy and Ultimatum won the Empire Award for Best Film.[12][13]

Box office performance

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference
United States Foreign Worldwide All time US All time worldwide
The Bourne Identity June 14, 2002 $121,661,683 $92,372,541 $214,034,224 #368 #459 $60,000,000 [14]
The Bourne Supremacy July 23, 2004 $176,241,941 $112,258,276 $288,500,217 #173 #302 $75,000,000 [15]
The Bourne Ultimatum August 3, 2007 $227,471,070 $215,353,068 $442,824,138 #92 #136 $110,000,000 [16]
The Bourne Legacy August 10, 2012 $113,203,870 $162,940,880 $276,144,750 #417 #316 $125,000,000 [17]
Total $638,578,564 $582,924,765 $1,221,503,329 $370,000,000

Critical reaction

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
The Bourne Identity 83% (184 reviews)[18] 68 (38 reviews)[19]
The Bourne Supremacy 81% (188 reviews)[20] 73 (39 reviews)[21]
The Bourne Ultimatum 94% (236 reviews)[22] 85 (38 reviews)[23]
The Bourne Legacy 56% (208 reviews)[24] 61 (42 reviews)[25]
Average Ratings 79% 72


Director Doug Liman stated that he had been a fan of The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum since he read it in high school. Near the end of production of Liman's previous film Swingers, Liman decided to develop a film adaptation of the novel. After more than two years of securing rights to the book from Warner Brothers and a further year of screenplay development with screenwriter Tony Gilroy, the film went through two years of production.[26] Liman approached a wide range of actors for the role of Bourne, including Russell Crowe and Sylvester Stallone, before he eventually cast Matt Damon. Liman found that Damon understood and appreciated that, though The Bourne Identity would have its share of action, the focus was primarily on character and plot.[27] Production was difficult, with screenplay rewrites occurring throughout the entire filming and Liman constantly arguing with Universal's executives.[28] The Bourne Identity was released in June 2002.

The films have been noted for their "well placed", "understated" and "tastefully done" product placement of a "diverse" range of brands, which in the case of the third film, earned the producers tens of millions of dollars.[29][30] The Bourne Identity features brands such as The Guardian newspaper, BT Tower in London and Tag Heuer watches.[29] The Bourne Supremacy features mobile phones made by Sony Ericsson.[31] The Bourne Ultimatum features a total of 54 brands including The Guardian and BT for the second time;[32][33] mobile phones made by Motorola, Nokia and Carphone Warehouse, most prominently the RAZR 2 and SLVR, as Motorola was a major sponsor and had a movie tie-in customised phone;[31][33] cars made by BMW, Ford, Mercedes, and Volkswagen, most prominently the Volkswagen Touareg 2, as Volkswagen provided $25 million in funding;[32][33][34] and technology products such as CTX computer monitors, Norton AntiVirus and the Google web search engine.[33]


The song "Extreme Ways" by musician Moby is used as the end title theme of all four movies.


External links

  • Box Office Mojo
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