A lot of moviegoers were disappointed with The Bourne Legacy, which spun off the Bourne franchise with a new character played by Jeremy Renner. The main complaint was that it lacked a third act, which is now apparently okay since the story of Aaron Cross will go on in the form of a sequel. According to Deadline, Universal has officially got the ball rolling on a fifth film in spite of the criticisms against Legacy and in spite of the fact it made less than half the gross of its direct predecessor -- the final Matt Damon-led sequel The Bourne Ultimatum. Domestically and internationally.
As one of the few who actually really loved Legacy, I'm somewhat excited about this news. However, much of what I found to be entertaining and smart and fresh about that installment (with its subtext commentary on drones) likely is thanks to regular Bourne franchise screenwriter Tony Gilroy, who also directed the film. It seems he's not involved with the next one, as Universal has hired Anthony Peckham (Sherlock Holmes) to pen the sequel. Meanwhile there's no mention of Renner being on board to reprise his role nor of any indication that Rachel Weisz -- the best thing about Legacy -- might be returning.
While I agree the film was short on climax, the relatively simple arc for Cross (compared to Bourne) also seemed to be fairly quickly completed by the end of Legacy. The character is last seen sailing off and could very well have safely escaped to an island paradise somewhere, cured of his meds and happily in love. If there had been no follow-up, that would have been okay by me. I had hoped instead that the franchise would continue instead with other one-off installments about various supersoldiers from various CIA programs. Maybe Renner will decline to come back and Peckham can tweak his script to go in that direction.
There's no release date, production start scheduled or even a green light, so there's a lot of room with this. The studio sounds pretty sure it needs to keep the Bourne brand alive, even if just to have faith Damon and Paul Greengrass will eventually circle back, so don't expect this thing to get sidetracked or fall by the wayside. Just imagine how hard it's going to be coming up with a title.