10 interesting details about “The Bourne Identity”
Yes, there are many films about hitmen. It’s not exactly a novel concept. But not every hitman film is the same. Consider The Bourne Identity as an illustration. It relates the tale of an assassin, but it does so in an original style that seemed successful. Here are 20 interesting facts about The Bourne Identity in case you’ve forgotten about the film.
It was inspired by a book.
The Bourne Identity, Robert Ludlum’s debut novel featuring Jason Bourne, was published in 1980. It wasn’t his first novel by any means, but it resonated with readers, and he went on to write two sequels to it, one in 1986 and one in 1990. Despite passing away in 2001, Ludlum’s name appeared as an executive producer on the 2002 film The Bourne Identity.
This is not the book’s first adaptation.
You could be excused for forgetting about the original Bourne Identity movie. It’s a 1988 ABC made-for-TV film that aired. A unique casting choice for Jason Bourne was Richard Chamberlain. Chamberlain was 54 years old in 1988.
Doug Liman sincerely desired to helm the picture.
In high school, Liman read The Bourne Identity and really liked it. Liman set out to acquire the rights to the novel as he was wrapping up the filming of his blockbuster Swingers. It took him a few years to obtain the rights, and once he did, Tony Gilroy jumped on board to pen the script. Before moving on to The Bourne Identity, Liman worked on the movie Go in the interim.
There aren’t many similarities between the novel and the movie.
Similar to the book, the movie The Bourne Identity centres on an amnesiac government assassin. The movie and the novel have the same basic premise, but that is about it. Liman wished to update the plot and the technology while also reflecting his own political views.
The film’s scriptwriter failed to read the book.
How little does The Bourne Identity actually resemble the book it was based on? Liman instructed Gilroy not to read the book when he first joined the team. Instead, Liman gave him a plan and instructed him to base his decisions on it.
Liman was inspired by his family in certain ways.
Liman’s father had contributed to the Iran-Contra Affair investigation and had chronicled it in a memoir. The memoir served as a source of inspiration for the film, according to the director. Particularly, Oliver North served as the inspiration for Chris Cooper’s Alexander Conklin character.
One actor declined the lead position.
Jason Bourne was offered to Brad Pitt as a role. He declined the opportunity, though. Oddly enough, he declined it in favour of Spy Game, another spy thriller. Pitt might have simply desired to collaborate with Robert Redford.
Other actors were taken into account.
Liman considered a wide range of stars, including Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He ultimately went with Matt Damon in part because Damon was equally interested in the story as he was in the action.
Marie evolved during the play.
Marie was American, and her original last name was Purcell. Her name had been changed to Kreutz by the time the movie was being made, and she was German. Perhaps as a result of Franka Potente’s casting in the part. For the record, she is Canadian and goes by the name Marie St. Jacques in the novel.