Movie Talk

Matt Damon Rips ‘Bourne’ Writer, Later Apologizes

Movie Talk

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Matt Damon as Jason Bourne

Photo: Universal Pictures

In the new issue of GQ, Matt Damon rips Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter of the three hugely successful Jason Bourne films which starred Damon.

In the interview, Damon contends that Gilroy turned in a very rough draft for the third Bourne film, "The Bourne Ultimatum." Instead of doing the kind of work he was capable of, Damon said that Gilroy wrote an "unreadable" script that necessitated a slew of rewrites. In short, Gilroy took the money and ran.

"It's really the studio's fault for putting themselves in that position," Damon told GQ. "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."

Watch the trailer for 'The Bourne Ultimatum' >>

Ouch! Damon has since apologized for his remarks. According to the Huffington Post, Damon contacted the writer of the GQ piece. "If I didn't respect him (Gilroy) and appreciate his talent, then I really wouldn't have cared," Damon said of the screenwriter. "My feelings were hurt. That's all. And that's exactly why I shouldn't have said anything. This is between me and him. So saying anything publicly is [expletive] stupid and unprofessional and just kind of douchey of me."

While promoting the movie several years ago, Damon did heap praise on writer George Nolfi, who assisted with rewrites on set. "So George kept out ahead of us. He would literally be in his hotel room working on the pages for the next day while we were working on the pages he had given us for this day, and we were making our tweaks in the real location, going, 'Okay, well let's change this to that, because that thing's over there.' You know, it's not an advisable way to make a movie. Like you couldn't teach that in film school and send people out there. But it works for (director) Paul (Greengrass)."

While Damon's participation with the "Bourne" franchise ended with "Ultimatum," the series is getting a reboot with "The Bourne Legacy." In this fourth film, Jeremy Renner ("The Hurt Locker") will take over as new character Aaron Cross. In GQ, Damon said he learned about the casting decision online. The film is currently filming, and guess who is directing it? None other than Gilroy.

This won't be his first time calling the shots. Gilroy has previously directed the acclaimed George Clooney thriller "Michael Clayton" and the little-seen "Duplicity," starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.  "The Bourne Legacy" is scheduled to be released on August 2, 2012.

Matt Damon will be seen next in "We Bought a Zoo," opening on December 23.  Watch a clip from that film below.

Find showtimes and tickets for 'We Bought a Zoo' >>

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