The Bourne Identity (2002) Poster


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The name Bourne came from Ansel Bourne, a preacher in Rhode Island, the first documented case of "dissociative fugue", a condition not unlike dissociative amnesia or dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder). One day in 1887 he forgot who he was, started a new life in Pennsylvania under the name Brown, and opened a convenience store. About three months later, he woke up and not only remembered his life as Bourne, but forgot all of his life as Brown... and needless to say was quite confused as to why he was in Pennsylvania.
In the beginning of the film Jason Bourne is looking in the mirror and says, "Weet je wie ik ben? Hou dan godverdomme op met dat gezeik en zeg het me." It's Dutch, and means, "Do you know who I am? Then cut the goddamn bullshit and tell me." It is one of the few instances where Dutch is used correctly in a Hollywood production, as it is often substituted for German.
Most of the US Marines in the Zurich consulate were actual Marine Security Guards assigned to embassies in Europe, at the request of producer Frank Marshall. They used their own uniforms, worked with the director on dialogue (eventually cut), and developed the tactics they use in clearing the embassy.
There are several differences between the film and the novel: in the novel, Jason Bourne does not recover from his injuries on the ship. Instead, he spends months at the coast with an alcoholic doctor, who performs multiple surgeries on him. Also, in the novel, Jason's deposit box does not contain cash and a gun, and he opens it in the presence of a high-level bank employee. After this, Jason is attacked in the bank by professional assassins. Marie also plays a more important role in the novel, where she is a Canadian economics analyst named Marie St. Jacques, not a German gypsy.
Despite prominent billing, Clive Owen only gets about three minutes of screentime, broken up throughout the film. He doesn't talk until an hour and 25 minutes into the film and even then its in his last scene. The credits only list him as The Professor. We never find out his real name. When Owen was describing his part, he remarked: "I basically put on a pair of glasses and pose to the camera!"
Brad Pitt was offered the role of Jason Bourne, but turned it down to do Spy Game (2001).
The author of the novel that the film was based on, Robert Ludlum, died while the film was in postproduction, on 12 March 2001.
The type of martial arts used by Jason Bourne is a combination of Filpino Kali along with Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do. Krav Maga is widely mistaken as being used in this film. It is not, as Matt Damon was trained by Kali/Jeet Kune Do expert Jeff Imada. The film's uncredited fight coordinators are Damon Caro and Jonathan Eusebio. Both are trained in Kali and Jeet Kune Do and neither are trained in the Krav Maga.
The region in Greece shown at the end of the movie is the island of Mykonos in the Aegean sea.
The film has almost nothing to do with the original novel, while the 1988 mini-series with Richard Chamberlain followed the novel very closely.
At Doug Liman's instruction, screenwriter Tony Gilroy did not read the "Bourne Identity" novel; instead, he worked solely from an outline prepared by Liman.
Because of 9/11 the producers decided to make the film more relevant by discarding the opening and closing sequences and replacing them with alternates. The story originally opened in Mykynos and the plot was told in flashback. Although the closing remained in Mykynos, it was rewritten and omitted Abbott's character from the sequence.
In an earlier draft of the screenplay, Marie was American, her surname was Purcell and she had green hair. Final drafts had her name changed to Kreutz, her nationality changed to German and she was given multicolored hair.
Amongst the items in Jason's safe deposit box are an American Express Platinum Charge Card and a rather unusual Air France Club 2000 frequent flyer card. The latter is an invitation only card handed out at the discretion of Air France senior management to customers who control multi million dollar/Euro travel budgets and cannot be earned by flying per se.
The character played by Clive Owen is clearly driving a BMW as he does in the BMW commercials.
Doug Liman set out to make this film with the feel of the movie inspired by Run Lola Run (1998), in which Franka Potente (who plays Marie in this movie) played the main part.
The original release date was set for 7 September 2001. When problems with the ending arose, the date was pushed back to 31 May 2002. The release date was then pushed back again two weeks later to 14 June 2002, as the studio did not want the film opening against Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), which featured the voice of Matt Damon.
Brian Cox and Chris Cooper's characters are never referred to by name until the end credits.
Body count: 8
The secret C.I.A cell Treadstone is inspired by the real life secret C.I.A cell 'The Enterprise', which organised the Iran-Contra affair. The character of Conklin is based on Oliver North while Ward Abbott is a combination of John Poindexter & Robert McFarlane.
The birth dates on the passports are cover details for the different identities (i.e. the Bourne identity)... they would never list his real birthday.
The rifle the 'Professor' uses at various occasions, for example at the farm, is a Swiss SIG 550 Sniper.
Director Doug Liman offered the female lead to Sarah Polley (whom he directed in the film Go (1999)), but she declined the part.
On the Region 2 Special Edition DVD, the title "The Bourne Identity" does not appear anywhere within either the theatrical or alternate versions presented on the disc. With the exception of the Universal logo, all the credits appear at the end, but still no title card.
Matthew McConaughey was considered for 'Jason Bourne'.
The DVD includes four deleted scenes:
  • Wombosi on a jet, telling the man who referred John Michael Kane (Bourne) to him that Kane came to kill him, and that he is going to find out who sent Kane. Kane is a reference to Robert Ludlum's 'The Bourne Identity' book, where it is Jason Bourne's cover name. The Kane plot line was not included in the movie.

  • While on the way to Paris, Marie stops the car to get a look on a map. Then follows a discussion as to why Marie should bring Bourne to Paris as she doesn't know him. After some talk they get back in the car and drive on.

  • At the CIA headquarters a psychologist analyzes Bourne's motivations and gives her opinion on Bourne's condition and thoughts to Conklin and Abbott.

  • Bourne and Marie use the underground and talk about her cover identity for the Hotel Regina.

The second operative - in the blue suit at the conference table - is sitting at a table with flags bearing the inscription "FAG" on them, black letters with an orange underline. This is the logo for a bearing manufacturer based in Joplin, Missouri, USA. On the table are three examples of their product.
There are no opening credits besides the title card.
Brian Cox (Ward Abbott) appears in two other movies as the employer of an assassin who has amnesia after a traumatic event, The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) and X-Men 2 (2003).
Both Brian Cox and Chris Cooper shot all their initial scenes in just five days. Both actors later returned for re-shoots to adjust the film's ending. Cox's abandoned re-shot scenes can be found on the DVD.
The film differs greatly from the novel but follows the basic premise behind the character Jason Bourne and the circumstances surrounding his introduction. In both stories, a man is found in the water and wakes up with amnesia, a bank number on a chip embedded in his hip and an unusual set of skills. Other elements that were present in both the book and the film were: Bourne being found near Marseilles, Bourne serving on a fishing boat, Bourne traveling to the bank in Zurich and meeting Marie during his time there, he and Marie traveling to Paris, Bourne and Marie discovering "Kane" (or "Cain" in the novel) as one of Bourne's cover names, Marie initiating the romantic side of their relationship, Marie involving someone from her past, Conklin trying to kill Bourne and The final fight scene taking place at a Treadstone base of operations. (On an upper floor of a Brownstone.)
This was the first film in the UK with the "12A" certificate. The press release came out the day before it was released. Because of this, there was no time to change the "12" card at the start with a new "12A" one.
Average & Median Shot Lengths = ~4 seconds.
In a closing sequence of the film prior to Marie renting out two scooters to a tourist couple, where a camera focuses in on the shop and the scenic backdrop, the sound of Flipper (1964), the popular 1960s television show, created by Ivan Tors can be heard in the background.
The rackmount systems in Treadstone are really several different types of Behringer musical equipment; Virtualizer Pro effects processors, line mixers, and compressors.
Carter Burwell was the original composer but left the film after when it was delayed in 2001 because of re-shoots. He completed approximately 21 minutes of score before the change in composers.
The gun that Bourne finds in the safety deposit box at the Gemeinschaft Bank in Zurich is a SIG-Sauer SIG Pro SP2009 (9mm) pistol.
The film was originally scheduled to be released in June 2001, but was delayed because of re-shoots ordered by director Doug Liman, including the car chase that takes place in the middle of the film.
Judy Parfitt was intended to appear as a psychologist, but her scene was cut. It reappeared as a 'deleted scene' in the DVD edition.
The 2 September 2000 draft of the screenplay credits David Self as a writer. He is not credited in the final film.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The small red duffel bag Jason Bourne takes from Gemeinschaft Bank in Zurich early in the movie when he cleans out the safety deposit box, and later gives to Marie when he sends her away, shows up again towards the end of the film as a hanging planter in Marie's scooter rental shop.
According to Robert Ludlum's description of the sound, the assassin who killed Conklin used a 9mm Luger with a silencer attachment.

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