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Casting Spies And Traitors
The chain of command has shifted, but the activities of Treadstone initiatives upgraded (into Blackbriar) for a post-9/11 environment have become more covert and sophisticated in The Bourne Ultimatum. Of the players, Greengrass notes: "There isn't one bad guy—there's one bad system. You have this split between the hero who is moving to the light and a system that is corrupted.”

The production sees the return of two acclaimed actresses who proved crucial to the series. Joan Allen plays spy hunter Pamela Landy, a CIA operative and internal investigator who developed sympathy for Bourne as she faced off against the vicious Abbott in the second film. Also returning to the production is series' favorite Julia Stiles as Nicolette "Nicky” Parsons, now stationed in Madrid when Bourne enters the city. When it came to Allen, fans were not the only ones eager for her return. "Joan brings a cool, cerebral intelligence to Pamela Landy,” commends Greengrass. "You feel her watchfulness; she anchors the CIA side of the story.”

In Ultimatum, Landy is brought into the fold to help Noah Vosen (played by Oscar®-nominated actor David Strathairn)—the complicated new head of the covert wing of the CIA—track down the re-emerging Bourne. Her sense of what Vosen's group is up to with Blackbriar does not sit well with the by-the-book career CIA operative. Allen explains: "She is brought back to help search for Bourne, because she is, in some ways, an expert on him. He's a mystery to her, and she has compassion for him, but wants to solve the mystery of what happened to him. It is a world of spying, lying and secrets, but Pamela has a strong sense of ethical responsibility within that framework.”

Landy's unrelenting pursuit for the truth about Treadstone—and scorching tête-àtêtes with Vosen—adds a crucial dimension to the Bourne story. "She finds herself, if not defending Bourne, at least willing to offer him an opportunity to explain himself,” says producer Crowley. "She is willing to give him his day in court, whereas Vosen wants to terminate him at all costs. When Landy and Vosen bristle against each other, it's great to watch.”

The arc of Nicky, first introduced in Identity, has been a complex through line in the series. "Nicky didn't really know what she was doing in Identity,” comments Stiles. "And now she's at another crossroads. She knows that, with Blackbriar, the situation has gotten worse, and she doesn't want to be involved anymore. She's between a rock and a hard place because she wants to stay alive, but can't get out because she has too much information.”

"There is a great resolution to her character,” adds Damon, "when you realize her history with Bourne. It's two young people again, and they're on the run. They end up in many of the same situations Bourne and Marie were in, but it's clear that there can never be anything more between them because of decisions they made in their lives.” David Strathairn was approached to play Vosen, who operates the umbrella blackops program of Blackbriar. Crowley, who first worked with Strathairn on L.A.

Confidential, notes that the filmmakers were interested in Strathairn because his "strength comes from his softness. There's a depth of intelligence that he brings to whatever he's doing.”

Strathairn was eager to become part of the Bourne players. Of his agency, he explains, "Blackbriar is an operation whose primary responsibility is to gather information and take action against a previous threat. Vosen is part of—and maybe even responsible for—this operation formed to perpetuate what Treadstone put in motion.”

Acclaimed acting veteran Scott Glenn was selected to play CIA director Ezra Kramer. "Scott Glenn's character is the new person at the CIA and now everything happens on his watch,” notes producer Paul Sandberg. "You need an actor of<

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