'Janson Directive' Shall Be Our New 'Bourne Whatever'

October 26, 2011

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Boasting such excitingly meaningless word combinations as The Holcroft Covenant, The Aquitaine Progression, and The Prometheus Deception, the embossed titles of Robert Ludlum are basically begging to either be made into movies or exalted amongst such cherished possessions as decorative candlesticks and a Chinese beer ad. The latter already having been done in the case of The Janson Directive, Universal is now hoping to tackle the former with a film adaptation of the posthumously-published Ludlum novel. Like Ludlum's popular Bourne series, The Janson Directive focuses on a really awesome, government-trained special ops guy who uncovers scandal and, per usual, gets crossed and double-crossed until the only person he can trust his Paul Janson, who is him. Underworld Awakening screenwriter and Risk adapter John Hlavin has been hired to script the first of what could obviously be a whole series of Janson films--particularly if the whole Jason Bourne-less Bourne sequel doesn't work out and the world needs a new name-brand agent to get behind.

Outside the world of Paul Janson, Universal already has two other Ludlum novels in The Ludlum Pipeline: The Parsifal Mosaic, which has Ron Howard attached to direct, and The Sigma Protocol. MGM and Relativity Media, meanwhile, are working on a Denzel Washington-starring adaptation of The Matarese Circle, and Summit already has a script for The Osterman Weekend. At this rate, we'll have pushed through the deceased Ludlum's entire bibliography by the end of the decade, and then what? Electronic board games, I say. Try and tell me The Omega Virus doesn't have a nice Ludlum movie-esque ring to it.

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