Fans of the Bourne movies will recall that Operation Treadstone was the covert program which trained David Webb (Matt Damon) to become the assassin who goes by many names, including ‘Jason Bourne’.
Now, a new TV spin-off from the franchise – sans Damon – will explore both the origin story and present-day actions of the CIA’s black ops program, which transformed its agents into almost superhuman killers.
Here’s everything you need to know about Treadstone and how to watch it.
USA Network – the series’ American broadcaster – has also put out a two-minute promo which combines a new trailer with behind-the-scenes material featuring soundbites from the cast and crew.
When does Treadstone come to TV in the UK?
Stateside, USA Network aired a “special preview” of the Treadstone pilot on 24th September, 2019, with the series set to make its official premiere on 15th October.
Outside of the US, Amazon has bought up the global rights to the show and will debut it in over 200 international territories, though not till 2020.
“The Bourne films are popular with our customers around the world and it’s exciting to see the franchise move to television with Treadstone,” said Brad Beale, Vice President of World Wide Content Licensing for Prime Video.
“Prime members love shows with action and intrigue like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and our latest anti-super hero hit The Boys and we know that Treadstone will be another great addition to Prime Video in 2020.”
How is Treadstone connected to the Bourne movies?
The story of Operation Treadstone was previously explored in the five Bourne movies – 2002’s The Bourne Identity, 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy, 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, 2016’s Jason Bourne and 2012’s Damon-less, Jeremy Renner-fronted The Bourne Legacy.
After a botched mission leaves him amnesiac, Damon’s character ‘Jason Bourne’ begins digging into his past and learns that he was transformed into an expert hitman by the black ops program Treadstone, which was later upgraded into Operation Blackbriar.
Both programs were eventually exposed and apparently shutdown, though one final twist in the latest entry in the series, 2016’s Jason Bourne, revealed that it was actually Jason/David’s father Richard Webb (Gregg Henry) who originated the project. Gasp!
The TV series Treadstone won’t feature Damon’s character, instead focusing on a number of other sleeper agents across the globe as they’re mysteriously awakened to resume their deadly missions. It was devised by Heroes creator Tim Kring and stars Jeremy Irvine, Tracy Ifeachor, Omar Metwally, Brian J. Smith, Hyo Joo Han, Gabrielle Scharnitzky, Emilia Schüle, and Michelle Forbes.
And while Jason/David isn’t the lead, Ben Smith, producer of the films and Treadstone, told CinemaBlend that a sixth Bourne movie is “definitely in the works”.
“Will there be connected tissue in terms of are we all existing within the same world and universe? Absolutely,” he said, adding that the exact details of how the movies and Treadstone will cross over “are still under wraps”.