The Bourne Animosity: Matt Damon Slams Writer for "Career-Ender" Movie

Actor lashes out at Bourne Ultimatum scribe Tony Gilroy, says he took a "boatload" of money and turned in an "embarrassing" script for the trilogy-ending film

By Gina Serpe Dec 13, 2011 4:38 PMTags
GQ Cover, Matt DamonBen Watts/GQ

And here we thought the onscreen drama was tense.

Matt Damon, who ordinarily remains above the trash-talking fray, sunk himself right down into it this week while speaking out as the coverboy of the new issue of GQ.

Among other far less intriguing revelations, the A-list Oscar winner didn't hold back while criticizing the Bourne Ultimatum screenwriter Tony Gilroy for turning in a script that he dubbed not only "embarrassing" and "unreadable," but a veritable "career-ender" for the scribe.

And that's only the tip of this bitterly cold iceberg.

"It's really the studio's fault for putting themselves in that position," Damon said, after explaining that for the third film, The Bourne Ultimatum, Universal gave Gilroy something of a sweetheart deal, which allowed him to write up only one (apparently quite rough) draft of the script in exchange for a hefty writer's fee.

"I don't blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It's just that it was unreadable. This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It's terrible. It's really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left."

Well if that's Damon not blaming Tony, we'd hate to hear what it sounds like when he does.

Of course, it wasn't long before Damon—who, lest we forget did score an Oscar for screenwriting and knows of what he speaks—thought better of his slams and returned to being Mr. Nice Guy, contacting the writer of the GQ article to clarify his feud-sparking comments.

"If I didn't respect him and appreciate his talent, then I really wouldn't have cared," he said after calling the writer back up to apologize. "My feelings were hurt. That's all. And that's exactly why I shouldn't have said anything.

"This is between me and him. So saying anything publicly is f--king stupid and unprofessional and just kind of douchey of me."

Well, at least that saves Gilroy the trouble of having to draft a retort.