The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reports that Universal Pictures is teaming up with screenwriter James Vanderbilt and others to create a cinematic universe based on the works of author Robert Ludlum, with The Janson Directive being the first project in mind with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson attached to star.
Universal are working with James Vanderbilt nd his partners at Mythology Entertainment, Brad Fischer and William Sherak, as well as Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner of Captivate Entertainment to craft a series of films based on the works of author Robert Ludlum, the man responsible behind Universal’s hit Jason Bourne franchise. Vanderbilt will be adapting Janson Directive from a story co-authored with Akiva Goldsman. Vanderbilt has worked previous with Dwayne Johnson when he co-wrote one of the actor’s early action roles in 2003’s The Rundown/Welcome To The Jungle. Vanderbilt will also be co-authoring two more stories/treatments based on the Ludlum books, which have not yet been named, to give shape to the action universe. According to the report, it is unclear whether or not Johnson’s character will feature in future instalments.
On the announcement, Dwayne Johnson said:
The Janson Directive is classic Robert Ludlum. Sharp, edgy and layered storylines. The character is complex, conflicted, bad ass and lethal — I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this and bring him to life. Between Jamie, Akiva, Captivate and Universal, it’s an exciting time to help produce and build out this awesome Ludlum universe.
The Janson Directive is set to focus on Paul Janson, a former operative who is now the best private security consultant in the world. Once he is framed for the murder of a prominent Nobel laureate, he must join forces with the protege sent to kill him in order to survive. Captivate Entertainment’s Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner will be serving as Producers along with Mythology Enteraintment’s James Vanderbilt,Brad Fischer and William Sherak, as well as Hiram Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions and Akiva Goldsman. Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia are Executive Producing.
On the announcement, James Vanderbilt said:
I’ve been obsessed with Robert Ludlum ever since I was a kid, and the opportunity to play in this sandbox and create an interconnected universe based on the works of one of the best espionage writers of all time is a dream come true.
On the announcement, Ben Smith said:
James has a deep understanding of the unique themes that run through Robert Ludlum’s novels, many of which are more relevant to today’s world than when they were published. [Universal’s] Donna Langley, Jimmy Horowitz, Peter Cramer and we at Captivate have discussed building a connective world with Ludlum’s works and found an ideal creative partner in James to craft this visceral, grounded, cinematic universe. Dwayne Johnson is the perfect actor to bring Paul Janson to the screen, and we are thrilled to have him as a cornerstone of this exciting franchise.
On the announcement, Dany Garcia added:
This is a powerful project that has brought together an amazing group of individuals committed to bringing the absolute best to Robert Ludlum’s work.