Robert Ludlum's The Sigma Protocol Moving Into Production
by Alex Billington
June 3, 2008
The last time we mentioned Robert Ludlum was in a casting announcement involving Denzel Washington joining The Matarese Circle. Today we learn that Universal has fast-tracked the Ludlum novel The Sigma Protocol for development under Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, the writing team who penned the screenplay for Iron Man. A director nor a cast has been set yet, but we can expect Universal will be putting together a creative team that will deliver a feature similar to that of the Bourne series, given those were adapted from Ludlum novels as well. And we all know how solid the script for Iron Man was, so with Marcum and Holloway now working from a Ludlum novel, this is bound to be a brilliant adaptation.
The Sigma Protocol revolves around a young investment banker who discovers a secret organization that has been manipulating the global economy. After his twin brother dies in a plane crash, Ben Hartman reluctantly takes his place in the investment firm started by their father, a Holocaust survivor. But then an old college buddy tries to kill Ben on a crowded Zurich street, setting off a chain of events that ultimately leads Ben into the thick of a worldwide conspiracy. Behind it is Sigma, a multinational cartel built on the rubble of World War II by industrialists and financiers bent on exploiting wartime technology and protecting their wealth from the threat of communism.
Accompanied by a beautiful American justice department agent, Ben eludes the assassins on his trail and follows Sigma's tentacles across Europe, to Brazil, Washington, and finally to a sanitarium known as the Clockworks in the Austrian Alps, where the horrifying agenda of a perverted new world order is revealed. The novel was one of Ludlum's last that he wrote entirely before he died in 2001.
Given Universal has fast-tracked this, Marcum and Holloway will finish the script before moving onto their other projects, which include Highlander and Convoy. There isn't much more to this yet, but I think it's definitely one to follow as it develops. It sounds like it's got an exciting story on the level of the Bourne series, but I'm really concerned that it will turn out way too similar to that series. Truly that's up to the director they get and the style they choose to go with. However, almost all of Ludlum's novels have content that's great for cinema. In the hands of Marcum and Holloway, I'm sure this will turn out pretty damn good.