It's official: Jason Bourne is coming to Universal Orlando

October 15, 2019, 10:22 AM · Universal Orlando today officially confirmed that Jason Bourne is replacing Terminator in its Universal Studios Florida mixed-media stunt show.

The Bourne Stuntacular will open this spring in the former Terminator 2: 3D theater at the park.

The Bourne Stuntacular will follow the character of Jason Bourne around the globe as sinister characters pursue him. Everything fans have come to expect from the action-packed Bourne film franchise ā€“ thrilling chase scenes, punishing fistfights, death-defying leaps and danger at every turn ā€“ will happen right in front of guests with live performers, high-tech props and an immense LED screen, making it impossible to discern where the live action ends and the cinema begins.

The Terminator show ran for 21 years at Universal Studios Florida, closing two years ago. The Bourne franchise has out-grossed Terminator at the box office, but hasn't had a new film out since 2016. Meanwhile, Terminator has a new film coming out next month that likely will allow it to leapfrog Bourne.

But - and here's the big consideration - Terminator was licensed IP, while Universal owns the Bourne franchise. So all the more reason for Universal to go with its own. And, as Waterworld proved for theme park stunt shows, it's always more about the in-theater experience than the franchise source material, anyway.

We will find out how this new production measures up to its long-running predecessor when The Bourne Stuntacular opens in spring 2020.

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Replies (16)

October 15, 2019 at 11:57 AM

Looking forward to seeing the new show. I really wish they would put Waterworld back instead of Fear Factor. Hopefully they get rid of that soon for a proper show.

October 15, 2019 at 12:08 PM

Aiello and Universal Entertainment have been hitting home runs with their shows for the last five years so Iā€™d expect great things from this.

October 15, 2019 at 12:17 PM

Like you said, Waterworld is proof that you don't need a beloved franchise (or even memorable for that matter) to make a great show.

October 15, 2019 at 12:24 PM

One of the worst kept secrets in the theme park industry.

Am I the only one who's skeptical about this show? There aren't a lot of details revealed here, but for a stunt show to be successful at a destination park like USF, it has to offer something above and beyond. They've noted the use of an LED screen that will blur the lines between live and pre-recorded action, but what has made other stunt shows successful are unique settings, props, and awe-inspiring action (Waterworld's sea plane crashing into the arena is still the most amazing sequence in any stunt show ever created). Even T:2, which was more movie than stunt show, had that killer finale to overcome the lack of impressive stunts (something that Sinbad did far better).

I will note that while the Bourne franchise hasn't released a movie since 2016, Treadstone is debuting this week on USA and has received some pretty scathing reviews despite a strong acting and producing pedigree. While the Bourne franchise may have higher box office receipts, I think the overall appeal of the Terminator franchise is much stronger (don't forget that the original Terminator opened in 1984 when even blockbusters struggled to gross over $50 million, while The Bourne Identity opened in 2002). I hope Universal has something special in store here, because the show will have to overcome some malaise towards the IP similar to what had to happen with Waterworld.

October 15, 2019 at 1:12 PM

Hey now, no more low-hanging fruit digs at Waterworld! :-) I actually really enjoyed the movie, but, I'm likely one of approximately 6.2 people worldwide who did.

October 15, 2019 at 1:16 PM

@Clayton - I guess you're "that guy" who has a jar of mud autographed by The Mariner prominently displayed on a bookcase.

October 15, 2019 at 1:41 PM

The problem I see here is that the Bourne Identity isn't an unloved franchise... it's a franchise that is on it's last leg and about to die (if it hasn't already). While the first couple were watchable, that last one was some of the worst cinema I've ever seen. The Water World stunt show opened in Hollywood in 1995... the same year the movie came out. Water World the movie might have been a bomb, but we all knew what it was and there was some collective synergy between the movie and the stunt show. Bourne might not be a bomb but it's a very tired franchise. That being said, I hope I'm wrong and that this stunt show is awesome.

October 15, 2019 at 1:46 PM

I've always been surprised "Waterworld" was never moved to Florida. Maybe worry that it's the California fans that keep it going or that it's better as just one show? Just seemed odd to me.

Have my doubts here too given Bourne doesn't have the "wow" factor Terminator does. I have to agree, an update for the old T2 show would have been better than a totally different property as just can't see this having anywhere near the impact.

October 15, 2019 at 3:02 PM

What a ridiculous name! Doesn't exactly flow off the tongue..... I will reserve judgement until I have seen it but have mixed feelings as I was one of the last die-hards for Terminator. Die Hard, now there's an IP somebody could do something rather spectacular with and Mrs Plum loves ol' Brucey a lot more than she loves me. Is there any Die Hard attraction around the world? If not, why?

October 15, 2019 at 9:53 PM

Sounds awesome. As someone who grew up with Universals great stunt shows like Miami Vice, Conan and the Wild West this is one area where Universal has severely declined. Funny that when I heard the new Uni Beijing was getting Waterworld my immediate reaction was why that tired show based on an unpopular IP when Universal has great IPS like Fast Furious and Jason Bourne that seem like natural fits for the stunt show format.

October 15, 2019 at 11:02 PM

This seems like a good idea that is coming about a decade too late. The Bourne franchise peaked in popularity in the late 2000s, and since then has consisted of two underwhelming films and a new TV series that appears to be receiving rather poor reviews. With no apparent future for the franchise, I wouldn't be surprised if they wind up with a show that runs for a few years before audiences stop showing up and it gets replaced by some other IP.

October 16, 2019 at 12:12 PM

@ProfPlum I don't see Die Hard ever being turned into a permanent attraction or show. Perhaps a seasonal show or parade, since it's a Christmas movie.

October 16, 2019 at 4:44 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAA1xgTTw9w

October 16, 2019 at 7:49 PM

Perhaps universal is trying to do the reverse of what is usually done. Usually, studios make a ride or show out of a hit movie to make it more of a guarantee the new attraction will have a large audience. It also may add synergy to make the next movie successful, but I think the former is the first consideration. Universal may be taking a franchise that is in trouble and trying to revive it with an awesome show. That is the optimistic case, that they will make absolutely sure it is awesome for that purpose. The pessimistic case is they are just being lazy and using it because it's an action franchise that they own. And. They have already done an attraction with fast and furious. Universal should partner with who owns james bond or star trek and do an awesome attraction or show out of one of those.

October 17, 2019 at 5:49 AM

I watched the first episode of Treadstone (7.4 on IMDB) and liked it a lot. I also love the first 3 movies so I am very excited. In the end the ip is not that important here as long as the show is great.

October 17, 2019 at 9:01 AM

@davedisney - I highly doubt the strategy here is to use a Borne stunt show at USF to reinvigorate the franchise. The number of guests visiting theme parks is minuscule compared to the numbers needed to make a movie franchise successful. Even if you assume it played to packed theaters (say 1,000 people per performance with 5 shows a day), you'd only be reaching less than 2 million people over the course of a year. That's barely enough admissions to break even on a mid-tier film, let alone a summer-blockbuster level film that many of the Borne films aspire to be (with $100+ million production budgets).

I'll reiterate that the IP here will add very little to the show - it's certainly not going to draw guests to make a special trip just to see it - so its success will be solely based on the quality and uniqueness of the production. It's going to have to be something guests have never seen before in order to have any sort of longevity with so many other entertainment options available in the market. Universal has a great track record in producing incredible stunt shows, so the pedigree is there. However, I hope they understand that they can't simply rely on the IP here to make this show successful, and can't approach this like an HHN maze or scare zone.

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