After the success of the original Bourne trilogy back in 2008, Universal Pictures realized that they could turn not only Jason Bourne into a franchise but also the rest of Robert Ludlum’s published catalogue as well. They worked out an agreement with the estate of Robert Ludlum that landed them the exclusive rights to Bourne as well as a first look deal on all of his other books that had not yet been turned into movies. Since then they’ve been developing a handful of projects but nothing has made it to the big screen as of yet. The one that seems to be the farthest along is an adaptation of The Parsifal Mosaic with Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) attached to direct. Now this week they are in the process of setting up another Ludlum thriller with Dwayne Johnson in mind to star. Hit the jump for more details.
According to Variety, Dwayne Johnson is in early talks to star in The Janson Directive, based on the 2002 Robert Ludlum book that was published a year after his death. The plot revolves around Paul Janson, an ex-Navy SEAL who leaves his position at a covert government agency after his commander crosses moral boundaries he is not comfortable with. He goes into business as a private security consultant until his past eventually catches up with him.
No writer or director has been chosen yet, but if Johnson signs on he would also act as a producer on the project. Clearly Universal is hoping that this could grow into a series of films just like Bourne, and additional books featuring the character have been written by Paul Garrison and Douglas Corleone. Johnson seems like a pretty reliable guy to anchor a new action franchise, the only question is whether or not he can bring the same kind of depth to the screen that Matt Damon brought as Jason Bourne. Are you interested in seeing Dwayne Johnson get his own Bourne-inspired spy franchise?