Sometimes the world seems like it’s trying to tell you something. In this case, I feel like I'm being told that the Jason Bourne franchise is going to be an important part of my life going forward. Seven years after the latest movie in the series indicated we’d seen the last of Matt Damon’s superspy, news came in that we may get a sixth Bourne movie. This followed right on the heels of me finally seeing what is actually the most recent addition to the franchise, Universal Orlando Resort’s Bourne Stuntacular.
While The Bourne Stuntacular has been running at Universal Studios Florida for over three years, a combination of not living in Florida and technical difficulties the last time I was at the park resulted in me only getting to see the stunt show for the first time a couple of weeks ago when I visited Universal Orlando for the holidays. If there really is going to be a new movie in the series, there are a few reasons I’m going to need it to make the show an official part of Jason Bourne’s story.
Universal Studios Florida’s Bourne Stuntacular Is The Best Attraction In The Park
The biggest reason that The Bourne Stuntacular should be made official is simple: the show is incredible and is, in my opinion, the best attraction to be found at Universal Studios Florida. I feel like people aren't talking about just how good it is, and many probably overlook it when visiting the park if they're not big Jason Bourne fans. I certainly fall into that category, but I'm glad I saw this show nonetheless.
It uses a combination of a stage-wide screen as a backdrop, physical props and a stage full of hydraulic lifts and crash pads to put together what is one of the best stunt shows I’ve ever seen. Bourne jumps, fights and shoots his way through various locations. My first thought when sitting down was "Why is the stage so high?" It's all so that much of the theme park magic remains hidden from view.
The story itself, if we’re being honest, is a bit generic. It sees Jason Bourne on the run from the same secret government agencies that have been tracking him throughout the franchise. The show cuts back and forth between Bourne and the high-tech surveillance team chasing after him.
What makes the show unique is that thanks to the screens, the action can go literally anywhere. Physical props are then added in, blending seamlessly into the screens to make them become three-dimensional, which allows the characters to climb buildings or otherwise interact with what looks to be a static background. There are even car chases, which seems impossible for a stage show, but works remarkably well.
It would be great if a new Jason Bourne movie included the fact that the events of the stunt show happened. Even if it was just a simple line or two of dialogue, it would be cool for fans of the show to see that connection made. Jason Bourne has to have been doing something in the years since the last movie, so why not this? However, there’s one element that’s actually from before the Stuntacular even begins that I would specifically love to see incorporated into a future Bourne movie.
Bring Julia Stiles’ Nicky Parsons Back From The Dead
These days, nearly every theme park attraction has some form of pre-show, and The Bourne Stuntacular is no exception After guests move through the queue, the audience is put in a large room where none other than Julia Stiles appears on screen, reprising her role as Nicholette “Nicky” Parsons. She’s there to explain the technology behind what we’re about to see, as the Stuntacular’s conceit is that we are observers viewing Bourne’s actions live as they happen via some new hand-wavy tech. But from what Nicky says, it’s made clear the events of the Stuntacular are supposed to be set after the events of the Jason Bourne movie, and in that movie, Nicky Parsons dies.
This apparent contraction isn’t left unresolved in the pre-show. Parsons states that, at this point, Jason Bourne believes that she is dead. She doesn’t reveal how she survived her apparent death in Jason Bourne, but she simply says that for “reasons,” Bourne must continue to believe that she is dead.
This could make for a decent way into a new Jason Bourne movie. How did Nicky survive? Why is she keeping her existence from Jason? They are questions that fans of the franchise would likely want to see answered, and those answers could be what brings Jason Bourne back. Also, every movie is better when Julia Stiles is in it, and killing her off was a bad call in Jason Bourne, so undoing it for any reason would make any potential sequel better.
Making Theme Park Attractions “Canon” Isn’t Without Precedent
The connection between theme park attractions and the movies they are based on is, of course, key to the attraction's success. Frequently, as is the case with many theme park dark rides, the ride itself is designed to retell the story of the movie it’s based on, but almost as often the story of a ride is specifically designed to follow the events of the movie.
Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout is not officially part of the MCU, but it’s a ride designed to be experienced after you’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the movie that came out the same year the ride opened. Tron: Lightcycle Run continues the franchise story post-Tron Legacy, and Jurassic World: Velocicoaster is set inside Jurassic Park as it is seen in Jurassic World.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is set on a new world called Batuu between the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, but in addition to the theme park land fitting into the world of the movies, the movies have also acknowledged the world. In Solo: A Star Wars Story, a reference is made to Black Spire, the outpost on Batuu that is the major settlement you visit in the theme park land.
At this point, it's far too early to tell if a new Jason Bourne movie will even happen. Even the news we have claims Matt Damon hasn't been approached yet, and without him, a new movie seems all but impossible. But if it does happen, it should integrate the best piece of Bourne outside the big screen.