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Matt Damon explains his GQ blowup over 'The Bourne Legacy'




Erstwhile government assassin Matt Damon has, well, not really apologized for ripping on the director of the next Jason Bourne movie, but sort of clarified he shouldn't have said what he said. That kind of honesty is pretty refreshing these days, even when you say Tony Gilroy produced an unreadable script for The Bourne Ultimatum.

Last week, a GQ interview revealed Damon was not a fan of the script Gilroy provided for the last movie, saying Universal screwed up by only requiring one draft of Ultimatum: "It's really the studio’s fault for putting themselves in that position," Damon told the magazine. "I don't blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It’s just that it was unreadable. This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It's terrible. It's really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left."

Ouch. Maybe that's some clue why he doesn't have a role in the next one, which will be directed by Gilroy, who is taking over for Matt's pal, Paul Greengrass. Greengrass directed Ultimatum and the one before that, The Bourne Supremacy (Doug Liman directed the first one, which had to be saved by Gilroy and producer Frank Marshall, the Hollywood Reporter says). Gilroy has had screenwriting duties on all three, and clashed with Greengrass over creative differences, THR said.

That conflict came out in the open in the GQ interview, so Damon explained to radio station KCRW he was set off by noticing the production offices for the fourth movie, The Bourne Legacy had opened across from the set of Matt's new movie, Neill Blomkamp's Elysium. Not that he's bitter.

"(The offices) opened up right outside my trailer. I was seeing this every day, and then I came back to New York and did this interview and kind of blurted it out," Damon said. "It was idiotic of me to say anything. At the end of the day, it's between me and Tony, and we'll figure it out or we won't."

Damon and Greengrass are famously cozy, having also made Green Zone together, but the actor has flat-out refused to make another Bourne movie without the director. That forced Universal to make Legacy with Jeremy Renner, but as a different character, leaving room for Damon to return in a potential fifth movie. That suits Matt just fine.

"I think if (Legacy) doesn't work, we can just ignore it and pretend it didn't happen, and that'd be fine," Damon told THR. "But I expect that it will work and only help us if we did another one, which I'd love to do." So for the record, his character can handle brainwashing, krav maga lessons and Franka Potente's murder in cold blood, but being directed by Tony Gilroy? That's over the line.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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[Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011 4:06pm]


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