Universal refuses to let Jason Bourne die. There’s too much life left in the character and they want him on the big screen again. Late last year Paul Greengrass confirmed that he wouldn’t return to direct the fourth film in the series, and shortly after franchise star Matt Damon claimed there wouldn’t be another movie without Greengrass’s involvement. Regardless of their plans the studio had a few aces up their sleeve, one of them being the return of screenwriter Tony Gilroy.

According to Deadline, Gilroy will pen the treatment for the new film whose working title is The Bourne Legacy. Gilroy had an integral role in all three of the previous installments (Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum), and he’s ready to pick up where he left off. We’re still not sure on Damon’s standing with Legacy because he was adamant about working with Greengrass again. The studio is aiming for the film to hit theaters sometime in 2012.

After Greengrass announced his withdrawal from Bourne 4, there were some rumors that Universal might try to produce a prequel. Perhaps this film will center on how the “legacy” of Jason Bourne really began prior to his memory loss. That could be a back up plan in case they definitely can’t get Damon back in the title role. But in all honesty, if he’s not there it won’t feel like Bourne. It will be more like Bourne Light or Bourne Jr. It’s not the same.

What do you think about Tony Gilroy’s return to the Bourne series? Do you think Greengrass and Damon will follow?