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Good Morning Hollywood, October 11: Bourne to Run … Without Damon

Matt Damon won’t be in “The Bourne Legacy” … but he won’t be replaced, either, says writer-director Tony Gilroy

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In this morning’s roundup of movie news ‘n’ notes from around the web, Matt Damon won’t be in “The Bourne Legacy” … but he won’t be replaced, either.

Matt DamonWriter-director Tony Gilroy has taken issue with some of the details in a recent report that he’s been hired to direct “The Bourne Legacy” – specifically the ones involving the possible participation of Matt Damon, who starred as Jason Bourne in the first three movies. So he called Jeff Wells with some clarifications.

A couple of weeks ago, Damon was reported to have declined to participate in the film unless director Paul Greengrass returned, prompting speculation that the role of Jason Bourne would be recast. While Gilroy confirmed that Damon will not be part of the film, but said that the actor is not being replaced. Instead, the new film has a whole new hero, and is “an expansion or a reveal” that will build on what happened in the first three Bourne films but also uncover the broader world surrounding Jason Bourne.

“I'm building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy,” says Gilroy, who adds that the action is triggered by what Damon’s characters does in the first three films, and will leave it open for the actor, and his character, to return in the future. Appropriately enough, the film is taking its title from a novel written not by Bourne originator Robert Ludlum, but by Eric Van Lustbader after Ludlum’s death. But the story will have nothing at all to do with the plot of the book. (Shades of many of the James Bond movies there.) (Hollywood Elsewhere)

In honor of 10/10/10, the Los Angeles Times compiles of bunch of Top 10 lists, including “The 10 best movies of 2010 (so far) that you might have missed.” I certainly understand the first couple of entries: “Animal Kingdom” is great, and not enough people have seen it; “Cyrus” deserved a bigger audience; “Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould” was certainly overlooked. But I have to wonder about the “movies you might not have seen” label when the list gets to “The Kids Are All Right,” and then “The Social Network.” And when it includes “Toy Story 3,” the top-grossing Disney movie of all time, I have to wonder about these readers who want to read about movies but haven’t seen the top-grossing film of the year. I guess they’re trying to make the point that not enough people go to the movies these days. (24 Frames)

Maureen Dowd goes to the opera, sees Wagner’s “Das Rheingold,” and can’t help thinking … about “The Social Network.” It may be a bit harsh of her to imply that Mark Zuckerberg is “a repulsive nerd” on a level with Wagner’s dwarf Alberich, or a touch grandiose to compare the film’s Winklevoss brothers to the giants who built Valhalla, but she definitely finds similar themes: “This is a drama about quarrels over riches, social hierarchy, envy, theft and the consequence of deceit — a world upended where the vassals suddenly become lords and the lords suddenly lose their magic.” Yeah, but that does mean a “Gotterdammerung”-style catastrophe is coming for the lords of Facebook? Now that’d make a movie. (The New York Times)

The Minnesota-based indie financing firm Werc Werk Works has an adventurous film currently in theaters, the Allen Ginsberg-based drama “Howl,” and a recent critical hit in Todd Solondz’s “Life During Wartime.” But the company has just taken a big hit that makes its future a question mark:  co-founder and president Christine Walker has confirmed to Colin Covert that she’s leaving WWW to pursue “some of my pet projects” as a producer. Co-founder Elizabeth Redleaf remains onboard. Says Covert, “Walker’s departure is surprising in view of the apparently close working relationship between the WWW co-founders, who often deferred to one another in interviews, finished each other’s sentences and traveled together to film festivals.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)