Universal Looks to Adapt Robert Ludlum Novel 'The Janson Directive'
Though Universal Pictures is already looking to capitalize on their success with the adaptation of Robert Ludlum's series of novels that started with The Bourne Identity by spinning off the series into The Bourne Legacy with Jeremy Renner, the studio is now looking to adapt one of the late author's last novels written before he died in 2001. Deadline has word that Universal, Captivate Entertainment and Ludlum Entertainment are teaming up for an adaptation of The Janson Directive, a story following Paul Janson, an ex-Navy SEAL and former member of the covert government agency Consular Operations. More below!
However, instead of losing his memories this time, our main character is haunted by them from his time in the Vietnam War where his mentor and commanding officer turned him over to the enemy to be tortured. But the real story takes off years later. Here's the official synopsis:
When billionaire philanthropist Peter Novak is kidnapped by a terrorist known as The Caliph, it’s up to Paul Janson—a legend in the notorious U.S. covert agency Consular Operations—to save him. But Janson’s rescue operation goes horribly wrong…and soon Janson is marked for death, the target of a "beyond salvage" order issued from the highest level of the government. Now Janson is running for his life, pursued by Jessica Kincaid, a young agent of astonishing ability who can anticipate and counter his every move. To survive, Janson must outrace a conspiracy that has gone beyond the control of its originators. To win, he must counter it with a conspiracy of his own.
Obviously there's flares of The Bourne Identity in there, but that's to be expected since this novel is also written by Ludlum. Taking the adaptation duties this time will be John Hlavin, who most recently wrote Underworld Awakening and has worked on the adaptation of the board game Risk for Sony Pictures. Of course, this isn't the only Ludlum adaptation set up at Universal since the studio also has The Sigma Protocol in development (which Jose Padilha was once attached to direct) and The Parsifal Mosaic (which once had Ron Howard in the director's chair), but neither of those films have had anymore development since they were revealed back in 2009. Either way, I think Ludlum's popular novels will be hitting the screen for some time, and if they happen to spawn a franchise or series of films that are anywhere near as good as the Jason Bourne series, that's likely good news for audiences.