On June 14, 2002, “The Bourne Identity”, staring Matt Damon in the title role, was released to critical praise, secured over $210 million dollars worldwide, and pushed the limits of action filmmaking into the 21st century.
While Robert Ludlum’s works had been previously made into movies, most notably 1983’s ‘The Osterman Weekend’ staring Rutger Hauer and directed by Sam Peckinpah, up until 2000 most of his work had been adapted for television.
In fact, before this 2002 entry into film the ‘Bourne Identity’ was made into a miniseries staring Richard Chamberlain in 1988 for ABC.
The success of the 2002 film prompted a resurgence in Ludlum’s work, a resurgence he would not witness as he succumbed to a heart attack in 2001 after principle photography had been completed but before the release of the film.
Further delays were encountered around the original release date (September 2001) due to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, that month.
Ironically the film is best remembered and acknowledged as breaking new ground in small scale action cinematography, especially in its car chase sequences – yet this was a major source of friction between the filmmakers and the studio.
Reshoots and rewrites throughout production caused further delays and contentiousness with Universal executives.
Matt Damon states at the end of filming all involved were convinced it would be the only Bourne movie – with no sequels planned.
However, that would be far from the case as the success of the film spawned a franchise that would include five films with a worldwide gross of over $1.6 billion dollars.
The series would include directors such as Doug Liman, Paul Greengrass, and Tony Gilroy and include writers such as Scott Z. Burns.
Did you know that in addition to his contributions to the Bourne films and ‘Contagion’ Scott Burns would do an uncredited rewrite on ‘No Time To Die’?
Check out all the seasons of The Latch Key Kids Podcasts where in Season One: Breaking Bond we discuss ‘No Time To Die’ and the many influences Bond had on the Bourne movies and vice versa.
All seasons of The Latch Key Kids are available on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcast, Stitcher, Audible, and of course Apple Podcasts on iTunes!