Matt Damon
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is beginning work on bringing back director Paul Greengrass to direct the fifth instalment in the Bourne franchise, with Matt Damon looking set to reprise his role as super-spy Jason Bourne.

The report comes from Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr, who was quick to explain why the move would be a shocker despite the huge success of the actor/director pairing's previous two Bourne films, which capped off the original trilogy before Jeremy Renner took over the franchise with The Bourne Legacy in 2012.

"Greengrass told Deadline as recently as last year that once Bourne regained his memory, there was no place else for the character to go creatively," reads the report. "His search formed the spine for the trilogy Damon starred in."

The same report also claims that Renner's involvement in the series isn't ending either. The planned sequel to Legacy – set to be directed by Fast & Furious' Justin Lin – is still in the works but will be ousted from the 16 July 2016 release date Universal had planned for an untitled Bourne film.

Deadline's report makes no mention of pitting Damon and Renner against each other, but does claim that Universal's hopes to have two Bourne series running parallel is formed by some desire to emulate Marvel Studios' successful Avengers model of interconnected films.

What this means is that it could be keeping one eye on a Damon versus Renner film in the future, after the two planned features are complete.

If confirmed, Greengrass and Damon's third Bourne together will now take that release date, meaning that the production should be in full swing next year. Damon had previously admitted he'd be open to returning to the character despite being happy with the way it ended in 2007's The Bourne Ultimatum.

He told CNBC: "We've just never been able to come up with a story. So, if any of your viewers have a story, please call Universal and submit it."

Maybe someone did?