Matt Damon and Julia Stiles in ‘Jason Bourne’ (REX)
Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne has always been a hero of few words and many gravely executed punches, kicks, and kills. However, for his return to theaters next Friday in the sequel Jason Bourne, the character is reportedly bringing his speak-softly-and-carry-a-big-gun routine to new levels.
In a recent piece for The Guardian, Damon and director Paul Greengrass discuss their decision to revisit the franchise they both set aside after 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum (and which continued, without their participation, with 2012’s Jeremy Renner-headlined The Bourne Legacy). Amid their wide-ranging conversation, Damon revealed the fascinating fact that in this latest installment, his character’s chattiness will be kept to an absolute bare minimum. As in, Greengrass told Damon he only has about 25 lines of dialogue in the finished film.
In defense of such silence, Greengrass says, “I think what makes a Bourne movie is the violence and the set pieces…but there’s a tremendous amount of emotionality in the character.” Nonetheless, this piece of trivia quickly begged the question: How much money is Universal Studios paying their star per line?
Vanity Fair quickly took the bait, using reports of Damon’s past paydays to form a hypothesis about what the star may have earned for his fourth Bourne outing. Given that a 2007 Forbes article reported that Damon received $26 million for 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy and that a Hollywood Reporter salary roundup from last year said Damon was among the select group of actors making $20 million a movie, VF’s Julie Miller makes the assumption that he was similarly compensated for Jason Bourne – meaning he could have earned an eye-popping amount of money for every spoken line, several of which are featured in the film’s full-length trailer below.
Such calculations are, of course, based on speculative rather than factual numbers. Still, there’s no doubt he earned his salary on Jason Bourne less through talking and more through those larger-than-life physical feats.
No matter his silence treatment, fans will undoubtedly be thrilled to have Damon back in the Bourne fold when the series’ upcoming chapter hits theaters on July 29.