Bourne (film series)

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The Bourne Trilogy DVD Cover.jpg
DVD box set of The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
Directed by Doug Liman (1)
Paul Greengrass (2, 3, 5)
Tony Gilroy (4)
Produced by Doug Liman (1)
Patrick Crowley (1–4)
Richard N. Gladstein (1)
Frank Marshall (2–5)
Paul L. Sandberg (2–3)
Jeffrey M. Weiner (4–5)
Ben Smith (4–5)
Paul Greengrass (5)
Matt Damon (5)
Gregory Goodman (5)
Screenplay by Tony Gilroy (1–4)
William Blake Herron (1)
Scott Z. Burns (3)
George Nolfi (3)
Dan Gilroy (4)
Paul Greengrass (5)
Christopher Rouse (5)
Based on The Bourne Series
by Robert Ludlum
Starring Matt Damon
Jeremy Renner
Julia Stiles
Joan Allen
Music by John Powell
James Newton Howard
David Buckley
Cinematography Oliver Wood
Robert Elswit
Edited by Saar Klein
Richard Pearson
Christopher Rouse
John Gilroy
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • June 14, 2002 (2002-06-14) (Bourne Identity)
  • July 23, 2004 (2004-07-23) (Bourne Supremacy)
  • August 3, 2007 (2007-08-03) (Bourne Ultimatum)
  • August 10, 2012 (2012-08-10) (Bourne Legacy)
  • July 29, 2016 (2016-07-29) (Jason Bourne)
Running time
600 minutes[1][2][3][4]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $490 million
Box office $1,620,443,849

The Bourne films are a series of action spy thriller films based on the character Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), a CIA assassin suffering from extreme memory loss who must figure out who he is,[5] created by author Robert Ludlum. The Bourne Legacy introduces a new main character, Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), a Department of Defense operative who runs for his life because of Bourne's actions in Ultimatum.

All three of Ludlum's novels were adapted for the screen, featuring Matt Damon as the title character in each. Doug Liman directed The Bourne Identity (2002) and Paul Greengrass directed The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and Jason Bourne (2016). Tony Gilroy co-wrote each film except for Jason Bourne 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.[6] Damon returned for the fifth installment, Jason Bourne.

The Bourne series has received generally positive critical reception and grossed over $1.6 billion. It is noted for its use of real stunt work, in contrast to the growing use of computer-generated imagery in action scenes.


The Bourne Identity (2002)[edit]

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 that name in the safe deposit box, along with other alien 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 (2004)[edit]

Some two years after learning that he is a trained assassin and breaking his connections with the CIA, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) 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 officer 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 (2007)[edit]

After six weeks of disconnection from his job, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) 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 also has 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 Pamela 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 behavior 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 (2012)[edit]

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, deployed to Alaska for a training assignment, traverses rugged terrain to reach a cabin operated by an exiled Outcome operative. Meanwhile, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has exposed the Blackbriar and Treadstone programs in public, 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 Beta program from which the CIA's Treadstone and Blackbriar were developed, 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 a well-below average IQ. To avoid this mental regression, and the operatives hunting them, the two travel to a factory in Manila and with Shearing's help, Cross survives the possibly fatal process of "viraling-out" of his dependency on the remaining mental-enhancing pills. They evade the Manila police and an operative from the new LARX program, and successfully escape from the Philippines on a junk ship.

Jason Bourne (2016)[edit]

Main article: Jason Bourne (film)

Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), whom Bourne sent into hiding in The Bourne Ultimatum, gains access to sensitive CIA files. She contacts Bourne to share information about his past, including how he was recruited for Operation Treadstone and his father's role in that operation. Bourne learns that his father, Richard Webb (Gregg Henry), designed Operation Treadstone and was assassinated by the CIA because he did not want his son to enter the program and become a killer. CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) hunts down Parsons and Bourne using a foreign asset (Vincent Cassel) and the technical skills of CIA Cyber Ops Division head Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), while Bourne plans to avenge his father's death. Bourne first tries to make the man who recruited him into the CIA confirm his understanding of his father's death. He then plans to avenge himself against Dewey. Meanwhile Lee wants to bring Bourne back into the CIA's special operations and Dewey allows her to believe she has his support even though he plans to eliminate Bourne.

There is a subplot involving Operation Iron Hand, a surveillance program that will have secret access to a giant social media service called Deep Dream. In the past the CIA and Deep Dream have had a contract to work together, but Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed), its founder and CEO, wants to end this cooperation. When Dewey refuses to allow any such change, Kalloor plans to reveal his relationship with the CIA and its plans to violate the privacy expectations of Deep Dream's billions of users. Dewey plans to assassinate Kalloor before his planned revelations.

Cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates that the character was not in the film or that the character's presence in the film has yet to be announced.
  • A V indicates a voice-only role.
  • An A indicates an appearance through archival footage or audio.
Character Film
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Bourne Legacy
Jason Bourne
Jason Bourne
David Webb
Matt Damon Matt DamonA Matt Damon
Nicolette "Nicky" Parsons Julia Stiles Julia Stiles
Marie Helena Kreutz Franka Potente Franka PotenteA
Ward Abbott Brian Cox Brian CoxAV
Alexander Conklin Chris Cooper Chris CooperA
The Professor Clive Owen Clive OwenA
Nykwanna Wombosi Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Adewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeA
Daniel "Danny" Zorn Gabriel Mann
Kirill Karl Urban
Jarda Marton Csokas
Tom Cronin Tom Gallop
Pamela Landy Joan Allen
Noah Vosen David Strathairn
Ezra Kramer Scott Glenn
Dr. Albert Hirsch Albert Finney Albert FinneyA
Ray Wills Corey Johnson
Simon Ross Paddy Considine Paddy ConsidineA
Paz Edgar Ramirez Edgar RamirezA
Martin Kreutz Daniel Brühl
Desh Bouksani Joey Ansah Joey AnsahA
Kiley Scott Adkins
Aaron Cross
Kenneth J. Kitsom
Outcome #5
Jeremy Renner
Dr. Marta Shearing Rachel Weisz
Eric Byer Edward Norton
Mark Turso Stacy Keach
Outcome #3 Oscar Isaac
LARX 3 Louis Ozawa Changchien
Zev Vendel Corey Stoll
Robert Dewey Tommy Lee Jones
Heather Lee Alicia Vikander
Asset Vincent Cassel
Aaron Kalloor Riz Ahmed
Craig Jeffers Ato Essandoh
Richard Webb Gregg Henry

Crew and other[edit]

Crew/detail Film
The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Bourne Legacy
Jason Bourne
Director Doug Liman Paul Greengrass Tony Gilroy Paul Greengrass
Producers Doug Liman, Patrick Crowley, Richard N. Gladstein Frank Marshall, Patrick Crowley, Paul L. Sandberg Frank Marshall, Patrick Crowley, Jeffrey M. Weiner, Ben Smith Frank Marshall, Jeffrey M. Weiner, Ben Smith, Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass, Gregory Goodman
Editor(s) Saar Klein Christopher Rouse
Rick Pearson
Christopher Rouse John Gilroy Christopher Rouse
Director of photography Oliver Wood Robert Elswit Barry Ackroyd
Composer(s) John Powell James Newton Howard John Powell
David Buckley
Writer(s) Screenplay by:
Tony Gilroy
William Blake Herron
Based on:
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
Screenplay by:
Tony Gilroy
Based on:
The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum
Screenplay by:
Tony Gilroy
Scott Z. Burns
George Nolfi
Based on:
The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum
Screenplay by:
Tony Gilroy & Dan Gilroy
Story by:
Tony Gilroy
Based on:
The Bourne Legacy by Eric Van Lustbader
Screenplay by:
Paul Greengrass
Christopher Rouse
Based on:
Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Distributor Universal Pictures
Release date June 14, 2002 July 23, 2004 August 3, 2007 August 10, 2012 July 29, 2016
Running time 118 mins. 108 mins. 116 mins. 135 mins. 123 mins.
MPAA rating PG-13


The Bourne series has received both critical and commercial success. Ultimatum won three Academy Awards: Best Film Editing, Sound and Best Sound Editing.[7] Both Supremacy and Ultimatum won the Empire Award for Best Film.[8][9]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget
Opening weekend
North America
North America Other territories Worldwide All time
North America
All time
The Bourne Identity June 14, 2002 $27,118,640 $121,661,683 $92,372,541 $214,034,224 #455 #587 $60 million [10]
The Bourne Supremacy July 23, 2004 $52,521,865 $176,241,941 $112,258,276 $288,500,217 #227 #396 $75 million [11]
The Bourne Ultimatum August 3, 2007 $69,283,690 $227,471,070 $215,353,068 $442,824,138 #126 #195 $110 million [12]
The Bourne Legacy August 10, 2012 $38,142,825 $113,203,870 $162,940,880 $276,144,750 #514 #414 $125 million [13]
Jason Bourne July 29, 2016 $59,215,365 $161,301,540 $236,800,000 $398,101,540 #270 #232 $120 million [14]
Total $800,076,899 $819,366,950 $1,620,443,849 $490 million [15][16]
Average $157,587,160 $159,284,953 $323,872,113

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[17] Ref(s)
The Bourne Identity 83% (185 reviews) 68 (38 reviews) A− [18][19]
The Bourne Supremacy 81% (190 reviews) 73 (39 reviews) A− [20][21]
The Bourne Ultimatum 93% (258 reviews) 85 (38 reviews) A [22][23]
The Bourne Legacy 55% (219 reviews) 61 (42 reviews) B [24][25]
Jason Bourne 57% (239 reviews) 58 (50 reviews) A− [26][27]
Average 74% 69 A–


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.[28] 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.[29] Production was difficult, with screenplay rewrites occurring throughout the entire filming and Liman constantly arguing with Universal's executives.[30] The Bourne Identity was released in June 2002.

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.[31] In a December 2012 interview, Matt Damon has revealed that he and Paul Greengrass are interested in returning for the next film.[32] On November 8, 2013, Deadline reported that the fifth installment in the franchise will feature Renner's Cross, with Justin Lin directing.[33] Andrew Baldwin was attached for the film's screenplay writing. On September 15, 2014, it was announced that Damon and Greengrass will indeed return for the next Bourne film, taking the release date, with Renner returning as Cross in a separate film, at a later date.[34] In November 2014, Damon confirmed that he and Greengrass will return [35] with a script from themselves and film editor Christopher Rouse.[36] On May 23, 2015, Deadline reported that Alicia Vikander is in talks to star with Damon in the fifth film.[37] In June 2015, Variety reported that Stiles will reprise her role as Nicky Parsons and Viggo Mortensen is in talks to appear in the film as an assassin who's tracking down Bourne. Deadline reported that Vikander is confirmed to appear in the film.[38][39] On July 28, 2015, Tommy Lee Jones was cast in a role in the fifth film.[40] On September 1, 2015, Variety reported that French actor Vincent Cassel is cast as the film's villain.[41]

Producer Frank Marshall confirmed principal photography for the new film had commenced on September 8, 2015.[42] The film itself was released in the U.S. on July 29, 2016.[43]

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.[44][45] The Bourne Identity features brands such as The Guardian newspaper, BT Tower in London and Tag Heuer watches.[44] The Bourne Supremacy features mobile phones made by Sony Ericsson.[46] The Bourne Ultimatum features a total of 54 brands including The Guardian and BT for the second time;[47][48] 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 customized phone;[46][48] cars made by BMW, Ford, Mercedes, and Volkswagen, most prominently the Volkswagen Touareg 2, as Volkswagen provided $25 million in funding;[47][48][49] and technology products such as CTX computer monitors, Norton AntiVirus and the Google web search engine.[48]


The scores of the first three films of the series were written by English composer John Powell, with James Newton Howard scoring the fourth film, The Bourne Legacy. Powell returned, with David Buckley to compose the score of the fifth film. Powell was not the original choice as composer for The Bourne Identity—a score for the film had already been composed by Carter Burwell and recorded by an orchestra, when director Doug Liman contacted Powell to provide an alternative soundtrack as he was dissatisfied with the music. Partly for budgetary reasons, Powell scaled down the orchestral score to a mostly electronic soundtrack with strings overlaid to give it a "cinematic feel".[50]

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


  1. ^ "THE BOURNE IDENTITY (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. June 24, 2002. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ "THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. July 21, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ "THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. July 26, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ "THE BOURNE LEGACY (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. July 23, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ Bennett, Bruce (May 28, 2008). "Jason Bourne Takes His Case to MoMA". New York Sun. Retrieved September 10, 2009. 
  6. ^ Horn, John (August 3, 2012). "The intricate birth of 'The Bourne Legacy'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  7. ^ "80th Academy Awards Winners". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  8. ^ "Empire Awards 2005". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  9. ^ "Empire Awards 2008". Retrieved 2011-10-16.
  10. ^ "The Bourne Identity (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  11. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  12. ^ "The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  13. ^ "The Bourne Legacy (2012)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  14. ^ "Jason Bourne (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Bourne Showdown". Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Bourne Franchise". Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Cinemascore". Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  18. ^ "The Bourne Identity". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  19. ^ "The Bourne Identity". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  20. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  21. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  22. ^ "The Bourne Ultimatum". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  23. ^ "The Bourne Ultimatum". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  24. ^ "The Bourne Legacy". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  25. ^ "The Bourne Legacy". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2012-08-14. 
  26. ^ "Jason Bourne (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  27. ^ "Jason Bourne". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  28. ^ The Bourne Identity DVD Commentary Featuring Doug Liman (2003).
  29. ^ Hanrahan, Denise. "Interview with Doug Liman". Retrieved March 14, 2007. 
  30. ^ King, Tom. "Bourne to be Wild". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 12, 2007. 
  31. ^ "Bourne Legacy sequel confirmed". BBC News. September 14, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Matt Damon: Door is still open for some more 'Bourne'". MSN. 
  33. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (November 8, 2013). "'Fast & Furious' Helmer Justin Lin To Direct Next 'Bourne' Installment". 
  34. ^ Lesnick, Silas (September 15, 2014). "Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass Returning for Bourne 5!". Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  35. ^ Agar, Chris (November 8, 2014). "Matt Damon Confirms New 'Bourne' for 2016". ScreenRant. 
  36. ^ Goldberg, Matt (January 5, 2015). "Untitled BOURNE Sequel Set for July 29, 2016; Paul Greengrass, Matt Damon, and Christopher Rouse to Write the Script". Retrieved April 13, 2015. 
  37. ^ Fleming, Jr, Mike; Jaafar, Ali (May 22, 2015). "Hot Cannes 'Circle' Package Imperiled As Alicia Vikander In Talks To Star In 'Assassin's Creed', New 'Bourne' Film". Deadline. 
  38. ^ Kroll, Justin (June 19, 2015). "Julia Stiles to Reteam With Matt Damon in Next 'Bourne Identity' Film". Variety. 
  39. ^ Fleming, Jr, Mike (June 23, 2015). "Alicia Vikander Confirmed For Bourne Sequel Opposite Matt Damon". Deadline. 
  40. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 28, 2015). "'Bourne': Tommy Lee Jones Joins Matt Damon in Sequel (Exclusive)". Variety. 
  41. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 1, 2015). "'Bourne': Vincent Cassel to Play Villain Opposite Matt Damon (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. 
  42. ^ Frank Marshall [LeDoctor] (September 8, 2015). "First day of principal photography complete and happy to report, BOURNE is back! #Bourne2016" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  43. ^ Nededog, Jethro (June 18, 2014). "Next 'Bourne' Movie Delayed Until 2016". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  44. ^ a b Allen, Lisa (13–19 August 2009). "Licensed to sell". Business Review Weekly. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  45. ^ Neff, John (12 August 2007). "The Bourne Ultimatum: Product placement done right". Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  46. ^ a b MacLeod, Ewan (16 August 2007). "The Bourne Ultimatum's baddies have Nokia N93i handsets". Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  47. ^ a b Mangan, John (6 January 2008). "Treasure chest of promotion". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  48. ^ a b c d Hannaford, Katherine (16 August 2007). "13 tech-related product placements in The Bourne Ultimatum". Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  49. ^ Edelstein, David (3 August 2007). "See Sickness". New York. Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  50. ^ Walker, Tim (1 June 2014). "John Powell interview: 'I sold myself to the Devil, just a bit'". The Independent. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 

External links[edit]