The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne Legacy Information

The Bourne Legacy is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Tony Gilroy. The Bourne films are based on Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne novels. The Bourne Legacy is the fourth installment in the series. The film stars Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton.

Titular character Jason Bourne does not appear in The Bourne Legacy, because actor Matt Damon, who played Bourne in the first three films, chose not to return for a fourth film. However, there are various pictures of Damon as Bourne shown throughout the film and his name is mentioned several times. Gilroy, co-screenwriter of the first three films, sought to continue the story of the film series without changing its events, and parts of The Bourne Legacy take place at the same time as the previous film The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).

In The Bourne Legacy, Aaron Cross, a member of a black ops program whose agents are genetically enhanced, goes on the run once Bourne's actions lead to the public exposure of Operations Treadstone and Blackbriar. Filming was primarily in New York, with some scenes shot in the Philippines, South Korea, and Canada. It was theatrically released on , 2012, in the United States.

With permission from the estate of Robert Ludlum, Eric Van Lustbader has continued writing Jason Bourne novels from where Ludlum left off in The Bourne Ultimatum. Although this film has the same title, The Bourne Legacy, as his first Bourne novel, the screenplay bears no resemblance to the novel which features Jason Bourne as the principal character.


Aaron Cross is a member of Operation Outcome, a US Defense Department black ops program which employs pills referred to as chems that enhance the physical and mental abilities of field operatives. Cross is assigned to Alaska for a training exercise, where he must survive certain activities and traverse rugged terrain in order to arrive at a remote cabin. The cabin is operated by an exiled Outcome operative, Number Three, who informs Cross that he broke the mission record by two days.

Meanwhile, a British reporter who was writing on operations Treadstone and Blackbriar is assassinated. The Blackbriar and Treadstone programs are publicly exposed, leading the FBI and the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to investigate CIA Director Ezra Kramer, Deputy Director Pamela Landy, Blackbriar supervisor Noah Vosen, and Treadstone clinical researcher Dr Albert Hirsch. Kramer requests help from Eric Byer, a retired US Air Force colonel responsible for overseeing the CIA's clandestine operations. Byer discovers a potentially damaging video on the internet in which the lead researchers for Treadstone and Outcome appear together at professional functions in public. To prevent the Treadstone investigation from finding out about Outcome, Byer decides to shut Outcome down and kill its agents. He sees the sacrifice as acceptable because the government has separately initiated next-generation beta programs, including the supersoldier program LARX.

Byer deploys a UAV (drone) to eliminate Number Three and Cross. Cross hears the drone's approach and leaves moments before a missile destroys the cabin with Number Three inside. When the drone returns, he tapes a Mylar thermal blanket and metal bowl to his thigh, masking the signal from a tracking device beacon implanted in his thigh. He shoots the drone down with his sniper rifle. Cross removes the tracker and force feeds it to a wolf from a pack hunting him. When a second drone kills the wolf and destroys the transmitter, Byer assumes Cross is dead. Byer engineers the death of other Outcome agents with poisoned yellow chems. Hirsch dies of an apparent heart attack before he can testify before the U.S. Senate. An indoctrinated Dr Donald Foite kills all but one of his top-level colleagues. When security guards break into the lab, Foite turns his gun on himself, leaving geneticist Dr Marta Shearing as the sole survivor.

When a crack team of CIA assassins attack Shearing at her isolated house, they are eliminated by Cross. He sees her as his last link to the chems so he can retain his enhanced capabilities and alleviate chem withdrawal. Shearing reveals that, without his knowledge, Cross has been genetically modified by a tailored virus to retain the physical benefits without needing to take the green chems. He still requires regular doses of blue chems to maintain his intelligence, but he is running out. Cross confides that he is Private First Class Kenneth J. Kitsom (reportedly killed by a roadside bomb in the Iraq War) and that his recruiter had to lie about his substandard IQ to satisfy the US Army's minimum requirements. Without his enhanced intelligence, they stand no chance of survival. Cross and Shearing travel to the Philippines, where the chems are manufactured, to try to infect him with another virus so he will not need the blue chems. Too late, Byer ascertains their intention.

In Manila, Cross and Shearing bluff their way into the factory producing the pills. Shearing injects Cross with live virus stems. Byer alerts the factory's security staff, but Cross and Shearing escape. Byer orders LARX-03, a chemically-brainwashed supersoldier, to kill them. They shelter in a flophouse, where Cross recovers from the flu-like symptoms. During the night, he hallucinates about his initiation into Outcome.

The next day, police surround the doss-house while Shearing is buying medicine. She manages to warn Cross, who rescues her from the officers. He steals a motorcycle, and they are pursued by both the police and LARX-03. After a lengthy chase through the streets and marketplaces, they lose the police. Both Cross and LARX-03 are shot. LARX-03 locates his quarry again, but is killed when Shearing causes his motorcycle to crash into a pillar. Shearing persuades a Filipino boatman to help them escape by sea.



Universal Pictures originally intended The Bourne Ultimatum to be the final film in the series, but development of another film was under way by October 2008. George Nolfi, who co-wrote The Bourne Ultimatum, was to write the script of a fourth film, not to be based on any of the novels by Robert Ludlum. Joshua Zetumer had been hired to write a parallel script—a draft which could be combined with another (Nolfi's, in this instance)—by August 2009 since Nolfi would be directing The Adjustment Bureau that September. Matt Damon stated in November 2009 that no script had been approved and that he hoped that a film would begin shooting in mid-2011. The next month, he said that he would not do another Bourne film without Paul Greengrass, who announced in late November that he had decided not to return as director. In January 2010, Damon said that there would "probably be a prequel of some kind with another actor and another director before we do another one just because I think we're probably another five years away from doing it."

However, it was reported in June 2010 that Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote each of the three previous Bourne films, would be writing a script with his brother and screenwriter Dan Gilroy for a fourth Bourne film to be released sometime in 2012. That October, Universal set the release date for The Bourne Legacy for August 10, 2012, Tony Gilroy was confirmed as the director of the film, and it was also announced that the Jason Bourne character would not be in The Bourne Legacy.

Gilroy said he did not get involved with the project "until the rules were that Matt [Damon] was gone, Matt and Paul [Greengrass] were gone, there was no Jason Bourne. That was the given when I had the first conversation about this. So it was very important to me, extremely important to me, that everything that had happened before be well preserved and be enhanced if possible by what we're doing now." He also said, "you could never replace Matt [Damon] as Jason Bourne. This isn't James Bond. You can't do a prequel. You can't do any of those kinds of things, because there was never any cynicism attached to the franchise, and that was the one thing they had to hang on to."

Gilroy "never had any intention of ever coming back to this realm at all"?much less write it, much less direct it. Then I started a really casual conversation about what we could do in a post-Jason Bourne setting. I was only supposed to come in for two weeks, but the character we came up with, Aaron Cross, was so compelling." After watching The Bourne Ultimatum again, Gilroy called his brother, screenwriter Dan Gilroy, and said, The only thing you could do is sort of pull back the curtain and say there's a much bigger conspiracy.' So we had to deal with what happened in Ultimatum as the starting point of this film. Ultimatum plays in the shadows of Legacy for the first 15 minutes"?they overlap."

In speaking about the film's storyline, Gilroy drew a distinction between the fictional programs in the Bourne film series: </ref> }}

Although a large part of the film was set in and around Washington, D.C., the real D.C. appears only in aerial establishing shots. Most of the film was shot over 12 weeks at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York, including all interior D.C. scenes. The old house in Hudson, New York used as Shearing's house was unable to accommodate the weight of equipment and crew, so it was used only for exterior shots, and all interior scenes were filmed on a Kaufman Astoria soundstage. The scenes set in the "SteriPacific" factory in Manila were actually filmed in the New York Times printing plant in Queens.

Several scenes were shot overseas, mostly in Manila and in the paradise bay of El Nido, Palawan in the Philippines. Several train scenes at Ogeum Station on Seoul Subway Line 3 and nearby areas in Seocho-daero 77-Gil (1308 Seocho 4-dong), Seocho-gu and Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea were used in some scenes. The Kananaskis Country region of Alberta, Canada was used for the scenes set in Alaska.

Gilroy said that "there are three deleted scenes"?we just mixed them and color corrected them [...] but what I like about it is all three scenes happen in the movie. One of them's referred to and they're completely legitimate parts of our story, they absolutely happen in our film, we just didn't have time to show them to you so there's nothing off to the side. I think they'll be on the straight-up DVD."

The film portrays Cross and Shearing as traveling nonstop from New York JFK Airport to Manila on board an American Airlines Boeing 747-400. That particular 747 model was introduced in 1989; American Airlines has never flown one; American Airlines has never served Manila as a destination; no commercial airline has ever flown from JFK to Manila nonstop with passenger service; the distance between the two cities exceeds the maximum range of any model 747. In spite of this incorrectness, American Airlines was actively involved in the production of the film in cooperation with NBCUniversal, and contributed its own airline employees and a Boeing 777-200 for the interior terminal and cabin shots at Terminal 8 of JFK International Airport. The airline also heavily co-marketed the film throughout post-production.


Critical response

The Bourne Legacy received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes has the film rated at 56%, based on 208 reviews and the consensus being, "It isn't quite as compelling as the earlier trilogy, but The Bourne Legacy proves the franchise has stories left to tell"?and benefits from Jeremy Renner's magnetic work in the starring role." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 61, based on 42 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A-, commenting that "Gilroy, who as a screenwriter has shaped the movie saga from the beginning, trades the wired rhythms established in the past two episodes by Paul Greengrass for something more realistic and closer to the ground. The change is refreshing. Jason Bourne's legacy is in good hands."

Peter Debruge of Variety wrote that "the combination of Robert Elswit's elegant widescreen lensing and the measured editing by Tony Gilroy's brother John may be easier to absorb than Greengrass' hyperkinetic docu-based style, but the pic's convoluted script ensures that auds will emerge no less overwhelmed." Michael Atkinson of The Village Voice also wrote a scathing review of the film, saying: "The Bourne films have more than just overstayed their welcome and outlasted the Ludlum books"?they've been Van Halenized, with an abrupt change of frontman and a resulting dip in personality."

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, called the film "an exemplary espionage thriller that has a strong sense of what it wants to accomplish and how best to get there." He especially commended Gilroy's work on the film: "Gilroy knows the underpinnings of this world inside out and appreciates how essential it is to maintain and extend the house style of cool and credible intelligence that marked the previous films." Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter commented on his review that "the series' legacy is lessened by this capable but uninspired fourth episode."

Box office performance

In its opening weekend, The Bourne Legacy grossed approximately $38.7 million in the United States and Canada and debuted at #1 of the box office charts, surpassing Universal's expectation of $35 million. It grossed $46.6 million worldwide in its first weekend. The film sold approximately 400,000 more tickets on its opening weekend than the first film in the series, The Bourne Identity. Studio research reported that audiences were evenly mixed among the sexes. The film grossed $113,203,870 in North America and $162,940,880 in foreign countries, bringing the film's worldwide total to $276,144,750.

The Bourne Legacy had its Asian premiere at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on , five days ahead of its opening date in North American theaters.


| rev2 = Empire | rev2score = | rev3 = Film Score Reviews | rev3score = | rev4 = Filmtracks | rev4score = | rev5 = Movie Wave | rev5score = | rev6 = Tracksounds | rev6score = }} The soundtrack to The Bourne Legacy as composed by James Newton Howard was released digitally on by Varèse Sarabande Records.

Track listing

Home media

The Bourne Legacy was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 11, 2012 in the United States and Canada.

Bourne 5

Universal Pictures stated at a media conference in Los Angeles, California, that they are likely to release more Bourne films, despite The Bourne Legacy being given mixed reviews by critics. 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 stating that although he had not seen Legacy, he intends to do so because not only is he curious to see it, but also 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 would not have Bourne and Cross joining forces and working together. On February 21, 2013, it was confirmed that a Bourne 5 was being planned.

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