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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Universal's THE JANSON DIRECTIVE Will Kick Off A Robert Ludlum-based Cinematic Universe


Director Paul Greengrass's Jason Bourne is not too far off from its theatrical release on July 29, which could be all the more better timing with news now officially being made clear on Universal Pictures's newest efforts toward another movieverse. The one question will encompass that of the millieu established in late author Robert Ludlum's posthumously published 2002 novel, The Janson Directive, which took off with headlines in the summer of 2014 before being confirmed the following Fall with actor Dwayne Johnson and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman attached.

This week, the studio is putting its hunger on full display for more than just a franchise according to THR's Heat Vision Blog which writes that Johnson's The Janson Directive will be first of Universal’s Ludlum movieverse out of the woodworks. Goldsman will be joined by screenwriter James Vanderbilt and his partners at Mythology Entertainment to get a script going for an interweaving of Ludlum adaptations, centering firstly on Paul Janson - a covert ops agency legend, now an elite private security consultant, forced into an epic cat-and-mouse game when he himself becomes a "beyond salvage" death target of the highest level of government following the fumbled rescue mission of billionaire philanthropist at the hands of a mysterious terrorist, and the only one who can help him is the protégé sent to kill him.

Vanderbuilt, who co-wrote Johnson's breakout hit film, The Rundown in 2003 and will co-write two more treatments of other Ludlum properties to get their own scribes attached, is producing with Captivate Entertainment's Ben Smith, Jeremy Weiner, Brad Fischer and William Sherak. Goldsman, who himself is head-deep into other franchises as well with Paramount Pictures's Transformers: The Last Knight getting things going, is also producing as is Seven Bucks's Hiram Garcia with both Dany Garcia and actor Johnson executive producing Mythology Entertainment's own Tracey Nyberg.

via THR:
"The Janson Directive is classic Robert Ludlum," Johnson told THR. "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." 
“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,” said Vanderbilt. 
Said Smith: “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.  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." 
"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," added Dany Garcia.

Johnson, who stars in the currently running series, Ballers, has already loaded up this year with several titles in his syllabus. Among those, he recently completed Baywatch, and is expected to have scenes in F. Gary Gray's Fast 8, as well as star in a sequel to San Andreas, a live-action adaptation of the game, Rampage, and in the role of Black Adam for the upcoming comic book adaptation, Shazam, and is also privy to the inner-workings of his newly launched Seven Bucks Digital Studios platform.

I don't know about the rest of you, but if this some how finds a way to a film that pits actor Matt Damon's Bourne character with that of Johnson's Janson, a move like that would service the ultimate blockbuster. Both stars are just that bankable and the Bourne craze hasn't lost its stream, so here's to hoping this crazy ride gets crazier.

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