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Universal moves forward with ‘Bourne’

Studio hires scribe Gilroy; Damon probably not onboard

Universal Pictures is moving forward with a new chapter in its lucrative Jason Bourne franchise.

Studio has hired scribe Tony Gilroy to pen a treatment for a fourth installment, which is tentatively titled “The Bourne Legacy.” Gilroy, who wrote all three “Bourne” films, is also onboard to write a franchise bible — an unusual step but one that hints that the studio is looking for opportunities to possibly break out characters from the Bourne universe for spin-offs.

All indications are that Matt Damon will not reprise his role as Jason Bourne, having stated on record that he will not return unless director Paul Greengrass follows up helming the last two Bourne films with a new outing.

Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley are back to produce “Bourne Legacy” alongside Captivate Entertainment’s Jeffrey Weiner and Ben Smith.

Though “The Bourne Legacy” is a book written by Eric Lustabader in Robert Ludlum’s Bourne book series, the fourth film will not be based on this book.

Universal is aiming for 2012 release.

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