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THE BOURNE SUPREMACY

Spy vs. Spy
Jason Bourne attempted to walk away from a world that refuses to stay neutral. The forces at work have now pulled him back in and he is once again confronted by a cadre of familiar (as well as new) faces—nearly all of them unwelcome. German actress Franka Potente returns as Marie, the source of benevolence and light that continues to prove key to Bourne's acceptance of his past and his attempts to move beyond it.

Observes Potente, "Two years have passed since Jason and Marie ended up on that beach in Greece. While it's clear that Jason isn't totally healed, he is at least incredibly committed to the relationship and the softening influence of Marie. It's very much been a choice on their part. The flashes from the past continue, which cause ripples in their life, but they've chosen to stay put…until Jason's nightmares actually materialize, and they're forced to run again.”

Greengrass observes, "Marie is the hope that a new page can be turned in his life, and Franka brings both a strength and a feeling of redemption to this very dark world of Jason's.”

One of the key players reinforcing that darkness is Ward Abbott, whom the director characterizes as "a bureaucratic controller of dark secrets,” embodied by leading character actor Brian Cox. Greengrass says, "Brian brings all of the colors anyone could ask for in a plausible adversary—he can sinuous and he can be bullying; he can be cunning and he can be self-dramatizing; he can be pathetic and frightening and sinister. There's a whole spectrum in-between the poles of black and white that Brian inhabits brilliantly.”

"Clearly in this new world far removed from the Cold War,” supplies Cox, "Abbott is a bit of a dinosaur, an old-school kind of guy. Now, so much of the game is about political use or abuse of intelligence, no longer so much of ‘agency-asindependent- entity,' accountable to no one. The operation that spawned Bourne, Treadstone, has been dismantled. Abbott is, in some ways, the lord of a shrinking fiefdom, and truth be told he's not very pleased about that.”

Bourne isn't the only one brought back into the ever-shifting world of international political intrigue. Nicky, the field agent whose work within Treadstone provided perhaps the only human face to the cold operation, is called in by Abbott—to act as go-between for Bourne and the CIA and, inadvertently, as a sympathizer with Jason—as she was the last one to see Bourne alive. Returning in the role is Julia Stiles. Producer Marshall observes, "It's really been interesting to see how people have matured between the first film and this. Julia was in college when we filmed the first one, and she's really grown and matured an actress. That reflects on the character of Nicky, who's grown up within the agency, and really adds to it. Julia proves to be a great asset to this chapter in our story.”

"In many ways, I think Nicky was in over her head when we first met her,” observes Stiles on her returning character. "But now that she's been pulled back, she realizes that the information she has actually empowers her and puts her on more equal footing with Abbott and the upper echelon. She understands the negative effect that Treadstone had on its operatives as human beings. She sees Bourne as a casualty of this operation. She's torn between carrying out the orders of her bosses, whom she does not trust, and helping Jason, who basically saved her life. It's an interesting predicament that only adds to the ‘who's the good guy here?' situation.”

Clearly not a good guy is the new character of Kirill, a rival assassin whose alliances remain shadowy, due in part to the fact that he is not someone who could be called "verbose.” Flipping from the heroic role of Rohan warrior Eomer in The Lord of the Rings trilogy to this cold-blooded killer-for-hire is Karl Urban.

"Karl has done a tremendous

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