Matt Damon’s amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne shares initials with another notorious screen operative. But other than that, Damon doesn’t see any similarities between Bourne and James Bond.
Bond is “an imperialist and he’s a misogynist. He kills people and laughs and sips martinis and wisecracks about it,” Damon, 36, told The Associated Press in an interview.
Damon’s new film, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” opens Aug. 3.
“Bourne is this paranoid guy. He’s on the run. He’s not the government. The government is after him. He’s a serial monogamist who’s in love with his dead girlfriend and can’t stop thinking about her,” Damon said. “He’s the opposite of James Bond.”
The third movie in the series based on Robert Ludlum’s books sends Damon’s penitent killer back to his roots to uncover how he became such a perfect weapon and who was responsible.
Damon said he bumped into former Bond star Pierce Brosnan in London and they chatted briefly about how the British super-spy’s movie handlers were trying to update the character with last fall’s “Casino Royale,” which introduced Daniel Craig as Bond.
Brosnan told him the aesthetics and style of Bond can be updated “but fundamentally, what the character is is something from the 1960s,” Damon said.
Paul Greengrass, Damon’s director on Universal’s “Bourne Ultimatum” and its 2004 predecessor, “The Bourne Supremacy,” agreed that Bond is a relic from a different era.
“He’s an insider. He likes being a secret agent. He worships at the altar of technology. He loves his gadgets. And he embodies this whole set of misogynistic values,” Greengrass said. “He likes violence. That’s part of the appeal of the character. He has no guilt. He’s essentially an imperial adventurer of a particularly English sort.
“Personally, I spit on those values. I think we’ve moved on a little bit from all that, the martini shaken, not stirred.”
Bourne and Bond may be very different men, but that still leaves the big question: Which one would win in a fight?
“It’s tough. I wouldn’t bet against Bourne,” Damon said. “Bond had all those gadgets, though.”