BOURNE STARTER'S GUIDE
Welcome to the Bourne Starter's Guide. This is where you can find out everything you need to know about Jason Bourne and the Bourne franchise.
Jason Charles Bourne, real name Captain David Webb, USA (Ret.) is a rogue CIA special activities division operative and the protagonist of the Bourne series of novels, as well as the film adaptations, and video game. In the films, Jason Bourne is portrayed by actor Matt Damon. The name "Jason Bourne" is one of many aliases used by David Webb.
It is important to know that Jason Bourne is portrayed differently in the films and novels, most notably in the sense that his role as an assassin is confirmed in the films but denied in the novels. His wife, Marie St. Jacques is also portrayed differently in the books and films--she is far more of a strong character in the books, but in the films, she is relatively unremarkable and also eventually dies (she does not die in the books).
Jason Bourne is usually involved in a conflict with a malevolent person. In the books, Carlos The Jackal, who is based on a real-life criminal, is the main villain, but in the movies, Jason Bourne is usually involved in a conflict with varying people, some working for others. Examples of these people are Yuri Gretkov, Kirill, and Desh Bouksani. Jason Bourne's enemies usually die at his hands, and often he kills them with creative, improvised weapons.
Like most aspects of the Bourne franchise, The Bourne Identity is different depending on the film and book. Both start with the premise of an amnesiac (Jason Bourne) attempting to discover who he is, and why he lost his memory. He discovers that Jason Bourne is an alias, and that his real name is David Webb. As he is reclaiming his identity, he is chased down by strangers with an agenda he doesn't understand. The main difference between the book and the film is that in the book, his innocence is maintained, but in the film, he goes on to accept his identity as a CIA assassin. Marie's role is also different in The Bourne Identity movie vs. book. In the book, she is a hostage, but in the film, she is a woman who Bourne enlists the help of. The romance between them is basically the same. They eventually get married, although the wedding isn't shown in the films.
The Bourne Supremacy is entirely different depending on book and film, partially because in the film, Marie dies immediately at the hands of a man named Kirill who is also attempting to kill Bourne. Presumed dead, Bourne uses this to his advantage and travels Europe, eventually shadowing CIA operative Pamela Landy, who he believes to be behind assassinations that Kirill was actually responsible for. He discovers that the mind behind Marie's death was Ward Abbott, and Russian Yuri Gretkov. He finds out Marie was killed by mistake, and they really only meant for him to be killed. He sends an audio-recording of his confrontation with Abbott to Landy--and Abbott then commits suicide as he is unrepentant for his killings and for stealing money from the CIA. Gretkov is arrested by Russian police, and Kirill dies in a car chase with Jason Bourne.
BOURNE ULTIMATUMThe Bourne Ultimatum centers around Jason Bourne discovering that British journalist Simon Ross has been writing articles speculating Bourne's identity. Clues lead Bourne to realize that Ross might have had contact with people in a Treadstone program called "Blackbriar". The people he wants to talk to keep getting assassinated by a Blackbriar operative called Desh Bouksani. Bourne eventually kills Desh, famously by using a magazine, towel, candle holder and book. He leads Blackbriar to believe that Desh has killed him. He is also romantically intwined with a woman named Nicky Parsons, who is also being targeted by Blackbriar. He helps Nicky change her appearance to go into hiding, and he travels to America, where he winds up in a hospital within a training facility. There, all the information about his real name (David Webb) and past are revealed.
The Bourne Legacy is an upcoming film, in which a new cast of characters deal with Jason Bourne's decisions. The character Jason Bourne is not present in this film; instead the starring character is Aaron Cross, an agent of Operation Outcome. He will be played by actor Jeremy Renner.