The Bourne Ultimatum (film)

"Bourne 3" redirects here. For the novel, see The Bourne Ultimatum.
The Bourne Ultimatum

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Paul Greengrass
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Tony Gilroy
Based on The Bourne Ultimatum
by Robert Ludlum
Music by John Powell
Cinematography Oliver Wood
Edited by Christopher Rouse
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • July 25, 2007 (2007-07-25) (ArcLight Hollywood)
  • August 3, 2007 (2007-08-03) (United States)
Running time
115 minutes[1]
Language English
Budget $110 million[3]
Box office $442.8 million[3]

The Bourne Ultimatum is a 2007 American-German action thriller film directed by Paul Greengrass loosely based on the novel of the same name by Robert Ludlum.[4] The screenplay was written by Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns and George Nolfi and based on a screen story of the novel by Gilroy. The Bourne Ultimatum is the third in the Jason Bourne film series, being preceded by The Bourne Identity (2002) and The Bourne Supremacy (2004). The fourth film, The Bourne Legacy, was released in August 2012, without the involvement of Damon, and the fifth film (a direct sequel to Ultimatum), Jason Bourne, was released in July 2016.

Matt Damon reprises his role as Ludlum's signature character, former CIA assassin and psychogenic amnesiac Jason Bourne.[5] In the film, he continues his search for information about his past before he was part of Operation Treadstone and becomes a target of a similar assassin program.

The Bourne Ultimatum was produced by Universal Pictures and was released on August 3, 2007, in North America, where it grossed $69.3 million in its first weekend of release and was, at the time, Damon's highest-grossing film with him as the lead. The three films have been commercially successful and critically acclaimed and The Bourne Ultimatum won all three of its nominations at the 80th Academy Awards: Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.


Following his pursuit by Kirill (in The Bourne Supremacy), Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) evades Moscow police while wounded, and deals with more flashbacks of when he first joined Operation Treadstone. Six weeks later, CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) divulges the audiotaped confession of Ward Abbott, the late former head of Treadstone, to Director Ezra Kramer (Scott Glenn). Meanwhile, in Turin, journalist Simon Ross (Paddy Considine) of The Guardian meets an informant to learn about Bourne and Operation Blackbriar, the program succeeding Treadstone. The CIA tracks Ross as he returns to London, after his mention of "Blackbriar" during a cell-phone call to his editor is detected by the ECHELON system. Bourne reappears in Paris to inform Martin Kreutz (Daniel Brühl), the step-brother of his girlfriend Marie Helena Kreutz (Franka Potente), of her assassination in India, also in the previous film.

Bourne reads Ross's articles and arranges a meeting with him at London Waterloo station. Bourne realizes that the CIA is following Ross and helps him evade capture for a while, but when Ross panics and ignores Bourne's instructions, Blackbriar assassin Paz (Édgar Ramírez) shoots him dead, in the middle of a busy station, on orders of Deputy Director Noah Vosen (David Strathairn). Vosen's team, reluctantly assisted by Landy, analyzes Ross's notes and identifies his source as Neal Daniels (Colin Stinton), a CIA Station chief involved with Treadstone and Blackbriar. Bourne makes his way to Daniels's office in Madrid but finds it empty. He incapacitates gunmen sent by Vosen and Landy. Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles), a former Treadstone operative who shares a history with Bourne, tells him that Daniels has fled to Tangier and aids his escape from an arriving CIA unit.

Parsons learns that Blackbriar "asset" Desh Bouksani (Joey Ansah) has been tasked with killing Daniels. Vosen sees that Parsons accessed information about Daniels and sends Bouksani after Parsons and Bourne as well, a decision with which Landy fiercely disagrees. Bourne follows Bouksani to Daniels but fails to prevent Daniels's death by a planted bomb. However, Bourne manages to kill Bouksani before he can kill Parsons. After sending Parsons into hiding, Bourne examines the contents of Daniels's briefcase and finds the address of the deep-cover CIA bureau in New York City, where Vosen directs Blackbriar. Bourne travels to New York.

Landy receives a phone call from Bourne, which is intercepted by Vosen. When Landy tells him that his real name is David Webb and gives him the birth date "4-15-71", Bourne tells Landy to "get some rest" because she "look[s] tired", tipping off his presence in New York (a scene replicated from the end of the previous film). Vosen intercepts a text to Landy from Bourne apparently of a location to meet up and leaves his office with a whole team. Bourne however waits for them all to leave, enters Vosen's office and takes classified Blackbriar documents. Realizing that he has been hoodwinked, Vosen sends Paz after Bourne, but the resulting car chase ends with Bourne forcing Paz's car to crash into a concrete barrier. Bourne holds the injured Paz at gunpoint, but spares his life.

Bourne arrives at a hospital at 415 East 71st Street, having figured out Landy's coded message. Outside, Bourne meets Landy and gives her the Blackbriar files before going inside. Vosen also figures out Landy's code and warns Dr. Albert Hirsch (Albert Finney), who ran Treadstone's behavior modification program, that Bourne is coming. He follows Landy inside the building but is too late to stop her from faxing the Blackbriar documents out. Meanwhile, Bourne confronts Hirsch on an upper floor and remembers that he volunteered for Treadstone. As Bourne flees to the roof, he is confronted by Paz, who asks, "Why didn't you take the shot?" Bourne repeats the dying words of The Professor in The Bourne Identity: "Look at us. Look at what they make you give." Paz lowers his gun, but Vosen appears and shoots at Bourne as he jumps into the East River.

Some time later, Parsons watches a news broadcast about the exposure of Operation Blackbriar, the arrests of Hirsch and Vosen, a criminal investigation against Kramer, and the whereabouts of David Webb, a.k.a. Jason Bourne. Upon hearing that his body has not been found after a three-day search of the river, Parsons smiles. Bourne is shown swimming away in the East River.


Tom Gallop reprises his role as Special Agent Tom Cronin, Pamela Landy's assistant. Corey Johnson plays Ray Wills, Vosen's deputy at Operation Blackbriar. Joey Ansah plays Desh Bouksani, a Blackbriar asset tasked to kill Bourne in Tangier. Colin Stinton plays Neal Daniels, CIA Station Chief in Madrid and a former member of Treadstone, who observed David Webb's initiation into the project and his transition to Jason Bourne. Lucy Liemann plays Lucy, a Blackbriar technician. Franka Potente has an uncredited appearance in a flashback as Marie Helena Kreutz, Bourne's murdered girlfriend.


Scenes were filmed at London Waterloo station between October 2006 and April 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum was filmed at Pinewood Studios near London and in multiple locations around the world, including Tangier, London, Paris, Madrid (as itself and double for Turin), Berlin (as double for Moscow), New York City including the Springs Mills Building (as the deep cover CIA offices), and other locations in the U.S.[6][7]

Tony Gilroy, who had co-written the screenplays of the first two Bourne films, had intended The Bourne Supremacy to emphasise Bourne's repentance and atonement for his murders, but felt that the released film omitted this focus.[8] Gilroy was persuaded to write an initial draft of The Bourne Ultimatum, but did not participate further, and as of 2009 had not watched the finished film.[8] Gilroy's screenplay draft was subsequently criticized by Matt Damon.[9]

Tom Stoppard wrote a draft of the screenplay, later saying "I don't think there's a single word of mine in the film."[10]

Paul Greengrass spoke about the characterization of Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum shortly before its release:

Bourne is a real man in a real world in pursuit of a mythic quest. What's wonderful is that it's an oppositional story. Is he a killer, or was he made to be a killer? There is an underlying feeling that Bourne is one of us, and he's running away from "them." He's trying to get answers, and he doesn't trust them. They're all bad, and the system's corrupted. To convey that with a sense of excitement in a very contemporary land-scape is great fun. [...] If you opened your door in New York or Paris or London or whatever, you've got to believe that whatever the story it is that Bourne's engaged in [, something] could be happening there. [...] What attracts me to Bourne's world is that it is a real world and I think I'm most comfortable there.[11]

References to previous films

Within the series

In the audio commentary for the DVD release of The Bourne Ultimatum, director Paul Greengrass confirmed the following scenes were deliberate allusions to scenes from the previous installments of the Bourne film franchise.[12] They include:

Outside the series


As with the previous films in the trilogy, the score was composed by John Powell. A new version of Moby's "Extreme Ways", entitled "Extreme Ways (Bourne's Ultimatum)", was recorded for the film's end credits.


The Bourne Ultimatum was released nationwide on August 30, 2007.[18]

In addition to the stand-alone DVD release, there is a limited edition 'The Jason Bourne Collection' gift set, featuring all three films on DVD and a bonus disc with myriad bonus features such as deleted scenes and featurettes. The gift set features Swiss Bank safe deposit box packaging including foreign currency and a Jason Bourne passport.[21][22]

The film and special features on the HD DVD version are presented in 2:35:1 Widescreen high definition 1080i and offer Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 audio options.[20]


Box office

The Bourne Ultimatum earned $72,681,532 during its opening weekend at the box office,[3] which at the time held the record for the highest grossing August opening for seven years, later overtaken by Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014.[23] At the end of its theatrical release, the film grossed at total of $227,471,070 in the U.S. and $215,353,068 in foreign markets for a worldwide total of $442,824,138, making it the highest-grossing film in the series.[3]

Critical reception

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film had an overall approval rating of 93% based on 257 reviews and an average score of 8/10, higher than both predecessors.[24][25] The site's consensus describes the film as "(...) an intelligent, finely tuned non-stop thrill ride. Another strong performance from Matt Damon and sharp camerawork from Paul Greengrass make this the finest installment of the Bourne trilogy,"[26] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 85 based on 38 reviews, again higher than the first two films.[27]

Like its predecessor, The Bourne Supremacy, the film was criticized for its use of "shaky camera" work, as Richard Corliss of Time magazine, in an otherwise positive review, wondered "why, in the chat scenes, the camera is afflicted with Parkinson's? The film frame trembles, obscures the speaker with the listener's shoulder, annoys viewers and distracts them from the content of the scene."[28]

In the British press, the inclusion of a fictional journalist from the real British paper The Guardian and scenes set in the United Kingdom (particularly Waterloo railway station) were commented upon. In particular, that newspaper's reviewer joked that "dodging bullets from a CIA sniper... is the sort of thing which happens to us Guardian journalists all the time."[29][30][31][32]

The film was also well received in the hacker subculture, as it showed actual real-world applications such as the Bourne-again shell and Nmap, unlike many other films featuring hacking scenes (such as Hackers).[33]

Top ten lists

The film appeared on several critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2007.[34]

Academy Awards

The film won in all three categories in which it was nominated, giving it the second highest number of awards at the 80th Academy Awards (behind No Country for Old Men):[37]

Other awards


In May 2007, prior to the release of The Bourne Ultimatum, Matt Damon claimed that he would not be interested in returning for a fourth Bourne film, stating (of his participation in the Bourne franchise): "We have ridden that horse as far as we can."[40] Damon said in August 2007:

I think in terms of another one, the story of this guy's search for his identity is over, because he's got all the answers, so there's no way we can trot out the same character, and so much of what makes him interesting is that internal struggle that was happening for him, am I a good guy, am I a bad guy, what is the secret behind my identity, what am I blocking out, why am I remembering these disturbing images? So all of that internal propulsive mechanism that drives the character is not there, so if there was to be another one then it would have to be a complete reconfiguration, you know, where do you go from there? For me I kind of feel like the story that we set out to tell is has now been told. I love the character, and if Paul Greengrass calls me in ten years and says, 'Now we can do it, because it's been ten years and I have a way to bring him back,' then there's a world in which I can go, 'Yeah, absolutely.' We could get the band back together if there was a great idea behind it, but in terms of now and this story, that part—the story's been told...[41]

However, on February 22, 2008, Variety reported that a fourth film was indeed in the works, with both Damon and Greengrass on board.[42]

On October 16, 2008, it was announced that George Nolfi would write the script, with Frank Marshall producing, and Jeffrey Weiner and Henry Morrison executive producing. Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Joan Allen, and Paul Greengrass were also attached to the film.[43][44][45] Joshua Zetumer had been hired to write a parallel scripta draft which could be combined with another (Nolfi's, in this instance)by August 2009 since Nolfi would be directing The Adjustment Bureau that September.[46] That December, Greengrass announced that he had decided not to direct the fourth Bourne film, saying that "[his] decision to not return a third time as director is simply about feeling the call for a different challenge."[47]

On February 1, 2010, Damon, speaking at the UK premiere of Invictus, revealed that a follow-up to The Bourne Ultimatum was "at least five years away". Greengrass, also at the premiere, re-stated that he would not be part of any further Bourne films "unless the right script came along". However, Damon revealed that in the meantime there may be a Bourne "prequel of some kind, with another actor and another director".[48] Matt Damon reconfirmed this on a March 10, 2010 appearance of Today and that he would only be involved if Greengrass was directing.[49]

In June 2010, it was announced that Tony Gilroy would be writing The Bourne Legacy and it would have a 2012 release date.[50] That October, Gilroy was announced as the director of The Bourne Legacy;[51] he confirmed that Damon would not return for this film and that there would be "a whole new hero":

This is not a reboot, it's a whole new chapter. The easiest way to think of it is an expansion or a reveal. Jason Bourne will not be in this film, but he's very much alive. What happened in the first three films is the trigger for The Bourne Legacy, and everyone who got into them will be rewarded for paying attention. I'm building a legend and an environment and a wider conspiracy. We're going to show you the bigger picture, the bigger canvas... The world we're making enhances and advances and invites Jason Bourne's reappearance somewhere down the road."[52]

The Bourne Legacy was released in the U.S. on August 10, 2012.[53]

Universal Pictures stated at a media conference in Los Angeles, California, that they are likely to release more Bourne films, despite The Bourne Legacy being given mixed reviews by critics.[54] On September 15, 2014, it was announced that Damon and Greengrass will indeed return for the next Bourne film, taking the release date, with Renner returning as Cross in a separate film at a later date.[55] On June 18, 2014, the studio pushed back the film from August 14, 2015, to July 15, 2016.[56] In November 2014, Damon confirmed that he and Greengrass will return.[57] On January 6, 2015, the studio pushed back the release date to July 29, 2016.[58]

The first trailer for the film was aired on February 7, 2016 during Super Bowl 50, which also revealed the title of the film.[59]

See also


  1. "The Bourne Ultimatum". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  2. 1 2 "The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)". British Film Institute. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 21, 2007.
  4. Kirschling, Gregory (April 17, 2007). "Movie Preview: The Bourne Ultimatum". Entertainment Weekly.
  5. Bennett, Bruce (May 28, 2008). "Jason Bourne Takes His Case to MoMA". New York Sun. Retrieved September 10, 2009.
  6. "The Bourne Ultimatum". Universal Pictures. Retrieved April 4, 2007.
  7. Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority – Bayonne, NJ. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  8. 1 2 "How Tony Gilroy surprises jaded moviegoers". The New Yorker. March 16, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  9. "Matt Damon Rips Tony Gilroy On 'Bourne,' Apologizes". Huffington Post. December 13, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  10. Rapkin, Mickey (October 18, 2007). "Tom Stoppard". Time Out New York. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
  11. Dodds, Klaus (January 2011). "Gender, Geopolitics and Geosurveillance in The Bourne Ultimatum". The Geographical Review. 101 (1): 88–105. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  12. Paul Greengrass (December 11, 2007). The Bourne Ultimatum (DVD audio commentary). Universal Studios.
  13. Kirschling, Gregory (April 27, 2007). "The Bourne Ultimatum". Entertainment Weekly (931–932). Retrieved October 27, 2008.
  14. Template:Extras of bluray version, audio director commentary
  15. "The Bourne Ultimatum Oklahoma City Premiere". The Oklahoman. Retrieved July 14, 2007.
  16. "In pictures: Bourne film premiere". BBC News. August 15, 2007. Retrieved August 20, 2007.
  17. Idaho Statesman, July 30, 2007.
  18. "Damon's Aussie sojourn". AdelaideNow. July 17, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
  19. "The Bourne Ultimatum (US — DVD R1|HD Release)". DVD Active. Retrieved October 19, 2007.
  20. 1 2 "HD DVD Review: The Bourne Ultimatum | High-Def Digest". Retrieved October 27, 2008.
  21. "Universal Says No to 'Jason Bourne Collection' HD DVD". November 15, 2007.
  22. "The Bourne Ultimatum (US – DVD R1 | HD)". Retrieved October 27, 2008.
  23. "August Openings". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  24. "The Bourne Identity". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved August 28, 2007.
  25. "The Bourne Supremacy". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved August 6, 2007.
  26. "The Bourne Ultimatum". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. August 12, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  27. "The Bourne Ultimatum Reviews, Ratings, Credits". Metacritic. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  28. Corliss, Richard (August 2, 2007). "The Bourne Ultimatum: A Macho Fantasy". Time. Retrieved August 12, 2007.
  29. Bradshaw, Peter (August 17, 2007). "The Bourne Ultimatum". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
  30. Campbell, Duncan (August 23, 2007). "Diary". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
  31. Patterson, John (August 6, 2007). "Killer instinct". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
  32. Barkham, Patrick (August 6, 2007). "I had to wimp down a little bit". The Guardian. London. Retrieved February 26, 2008.
  33. "Nmap in the movies". Retrieved April 13, 2012.
  34. "Metacritic: 2007 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Archived from the original on January 2, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2008.
  35. "More action". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  36. Germain, David; Lemire, Christy (December 27, 2007). "'No Country for Old Men' earns nod from AP critics". Associated Press, via Columbia Daily Tribune. Archived from the original on January 3, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2007.
  37. "Complete list of Academy Award nominees & winners". CNN. January 22, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  38. 1 2 3 "The 80th Academy Awards (2008) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on November 23, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  39. Allen, Katie (October 6, 2008). "Rankin and P D James pick up ITV3 awards". Retrieved October 6, 2008.
  40. Thompson, Anne (May 24, 2007). "Ocean's' gang ready for fourth; Damon says 'no' to more 'Bourne". Variety. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
  41. Weintraub, Steve (August 27, 2007). "Matt Damon Interview - THE BOUNRE ULTIMATUM". Collider. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
  42. Fleming, Michael (February 22, 2008). "Universal's re-born identity". Variety. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
  43. Simmons, Leslie; Kit, Borys (October 16, 2008). "Next 'Bourne' lands scribe". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 17, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2010.
  44. "Matt Damon returning for 4th 'Bourne' - Access Hollywood". MSNBC. October 17, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
  45. Wigler, Josh. "A Third Sequel is 'Bourne'".
  46. Kit, Borys (August 21, 2009). "Next 'Bourne' lands scribe". Film Journal International. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  47. "Bourne film franchise in doubt after director Paul Greengrass quits". Daily Mail. December 2, 2009. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  48. "Matt Damon says next Bourne film 'could be a prequel'". BBC News. February 1, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  49. TODAY Video Player. MSNBC. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  50. "Tony Gilroy Will Write The Bourne Legacy for 2010". June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  51. White, James (October 5, 2010). "Tony Gilroy Directing The Bourne Legacy". Empire. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  52. Williams, Owen (October 11, 2010). "Definitely No Damon For Bourne Legacy". Empire. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  53. Nicholson, Max (June 22, 2012). "Bourne Legacy Avoiding Dark Knight Rises". IGN. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  54. "Bourne Legacy sequel confirmed". BBC News. September 14, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  55. "Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass Returning for Bourne 5!". Coming September 15, 2014. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  56. "Next 'Bourne' Movie Delayed Until 2016". The Hollywood Reporter. June 18, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  58. "Next Bourne Movie Takes Planet of the Apes' Vacated Spot". Coming January 6, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  59. McMillan, Graeme (8 February 2016). "'Jason Bourne' Super Bowl 50 Trailer Brings Matt Damon's Super Spy Out Of Retirement". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 February 2016.

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