Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 13:43 UK

Universal 'to make fourth Bourne'

Matt Damon in the Bourne Ultimatum
It was previously thought the Bourne films would be a trilogy

Fictional CIA assassin Jason Bourne will appear in a fourth film, according to trade newspaper Variety.

It says actor Matt Damon will reprise the lead role in the fourth instalment of the Bourne franchise, with Paul Greengrass directing once again.

It will be the first Bourne film not to be based on the novels of late US author Robert Ludlum, Variety said.

George Nolfi, who co-wrote last year's Bourne Ultimatum screenplay, will pen the story, it added.

Robert Ludlum wrote a trilogy of Bourne novels before his death in 2001.

Since his death, there have been a further three Bourne novels - all written by thriller and fantasy author Eric Van Lustbader.

Bond criticism

British director Greengrass has directed the last two film versions.

It was previously thought The Bourne Ultimatum movie, which followed 2004's The Bourne Supremacy and 2002's The Bourne Identity, would be the last of the films in the franchise.

It topped UK and US box office charts and made nearly $450m (258m) around the world.

Last year, Damon dismissed rival franchise James Bond as being stuck in the past.

"The Bond character will always be anchored in the 1960s and in the values of the 1960s," he said.

The suave spy was "anachronistic when you put it in the world we live in today", he added but said that Bourne was no better or worse than Bond.

The latest Bond film, Quantum of Solace, is released across the UK on 31 October.

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