Film Fanatic: ‘Bourne 5,’ Liam Neeson, ‘Deadpool’ Movie

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Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass to Reunite for Bourne 5

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since we last saw Matt Damon portray the memory-stunted, ass-kicking, globe-trotting Jason Bourne.  The Bourne Ultimatum accomplished what so few trilogies have been able to do and that’s end on a high note.  It also somewhat wrapped up Bourne’s story (But also leaving some ambiguity) so the thought was that would be it for Damon and director Paul Greengrass.

Damon of course got asked over and over again if he would ever do another Bourne film and he was always open to returning with one caveat: Greengrass has to direct.  But Greengrass could never really come up with another story worth telling so another sequel never moved forward.  That is until this week.

Deadline has reported that Universal is in early negotiations with Damon and Greengrass to make another film and that Greengrass will for the first time, write the script.

Bourne 5 - indiewire.com
Jeremy Renner and Matt Damon. | (indiewire.com)

This is fantastic news obviously, but it also makes you wonder about the future of Universal’s spinoff series with Jeremy Renner.  The Bourne Legacy was by far the weakest chapter in the franchise, and the least successful, but it made just enough money that the studio planned to move forward on a sequel with Fast Five director Justin Lin at the helm.  Is that project now on the back burner?  Not according to producer Frank Marshall.

“[The Bourne Legacy sequel] is moving forward,” said Marshall.  It’s still in development.  We’re working to get a script as soon as possible.”  Marshall added that because there are no deals with Damon or Greengrass currently, the strategy is to proceed with both projects simultaneously.

“We’re on two tracks.  And if this one [with Damon and Greengrass] comes together, great, but they’re still just talking,” said Marshall.

It sounds as if they’re keen on continuing to create a sort of cinematic universe for the Bourne series in the vain of Marvel.  While this is an interesting and ambitious idea, a Bourne film without Bourne is like having an Avengers movie without Tony Stark.

If they want another Renner-led film to be successful, his character needs to play a key role in the next film with Damon and Greengrass to bridge the massive gap between each series.  I liked Legacy and would definitely be interested in seeing his, Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton’s characters again.

A Bourne sequel is planned to be released in 2016.  The question is whether it will star Damon or Renner.  Or both.

Liam Neeson Kill Map

One of the most fascinating film career trajectories is the Liam Neeson action-star era.  Did anyone see this coming?  Since 2005, the towering, gravely-voiced Irishman has battled Batman, countless henchmen in Europe, corrupt military personnel, Gods, wolves, aliens and terrorists.

That’s an impressive nine-year run for a man in his early sixties.  It’s also ironic because while action stars from years past, Schwarzenegger and Stallone (Who are just as old as Neeson), seem to be fizzling with their desperate attempt to return to the glory days, Neeson is thriving in the genre.

Dating back to Batman Begins, if you average out his last seven action-driven films where he has been either the lead or a co-lead, that movie has averaged more than $111 million at the domestic box office.  Arnold and Stallone would take a quarter of that success at this point.

Oh, and by the way, next year he will have Taken 3 and Run All Night dropping between January and April.  A double dose of Neesons!

Liam Neeson Kill Map - nerdrating.com
Liam Neeson has been busy. | (nerdrating.com)

With the release of his latest film, the crime-thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones (Which looks refreshingly restrained), Universal has released a “Kill Map,” chronicling all of his movie kills throughout his career.  They even count the battle droids he mowed down in Episode I.

Now, if someone did this map with Arnold and Stallone, as well as Statham and Van Damme and Seagal and anyone else, they would blow him out of the water as far as career kills.  But remember, these stats are mostly in the past decade.  That’s a Hall-of-Fame type run.

There’s even a key to the right of the map which breaks down each kill.  Death by doorknob is my personal favorite.  What this map is ultimately saying is that Liam Neeson is currently the most bankable action star working today and may I remind you again that he’s 62-years-old!

If you jumped in a hot-tub time machine and went back 20 years to when Schindler’s List was coming out and shouted to everyone at that premiere, “You wait, Oskar Schindler will be the biggest action star in the world,” everyone would look at you like you had three heads.  His run is truly amazing and thank you Universal for highlighting that fact in a map.

Deadpool Movie Finally Happening

The only redeeming quality from the horrendous film X-Men Origins: Wolverine was Ryan Reynolds’ opening scene portrayal of Deadpool.  A character known for his motor-mouth and dark sense of humor, Deadpool was curiously muted (Literally) in the climax of the movie and turned into a nameless goon for Wolverine to fight.

But ever since that film, fans of the character have been waiting for 20th Century Fox to make a spinoff movie of Deadpool.  One of the hurdles could have been the less than stellar box-office track record of Mr. Reynolds.  Despite being good-looking, funny and dramatic when he wants to be, Reynolds has seen an unprecedented streak of poor films bombing financially.

Ryan Reynolds - geekbattleroyale.com
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. | (geekbattleroyale.com)

Green Lantern is the obvious pick; another superhero character, but you can throw in The Change-Up and R.I.P.D as costly failures.

The other hurdle for the film being made was the fact that it’s unavoidable to do a Deadpool movie that isn’t rated R.  But according to producer Simon Kinberg, not only is the film happening, but it will maintain its edge.

“Yeah, it makes sense to me.  Genuinely it’s early phases, early days, but if you’re gonna do a Deadpool movie, I think you’ve gotta do a hard-R, darker movie and he is the perfect character to do it with,” said Kinberg.

The film is rumored to have a $50 million price tag, which is on the low end of Marvel movies due to its rating, but a cheaper movie could bread a more creative and innovative movie for director Tim Miller who’s claim to fame is the spectacular Bondesque opening title sequence for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Deadpool is scheduled to be released on February 12, 2016.  In the meantime, check out this awesome test footage of a possible scene in the movie that was leaked earlier this year.

 

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