Director Zhang Yimou to Helm Robert Ludlum's 'The Parsifal Mosaic'
After bringing hit Chinese films to the US such as Hero and House of Flying Daggers, director Zhang Yimou is situating himself with an American film at Universal Pictures. THR has word that Yimou is currently in talks to adapt The Parsifal Mosaic, the 1982 novel by Robert Ludlum, the same author behind The Bourne Identity and the sequels that followed. This would be Yimou's first studio film, and he's got Imagine Entertainment duo Brian Grazer and Ron Howard producing with the Ludlum estate's Captivate Entertainment, not to mention a script from Road to Perdition writer David Self too. Read on!
Here's the official synopsis of the early 80s spy thriller novel:
Michael Havelock’s world died on a moonlit beach on the Costa Brava as he watched his partner and lover, double agent Jenna Karas, efficiently gunned down by his own agency. There’s nothing left for him but to quit the game, get out. Then, in one frantic moment on a crowded railroad platform in Rome, Havelock sees Jenna. Racing around the globe in search of his beautiful betrayer, Havelock is now marked for death by both U.S. and Russian assassins, trapped in a massive mosaic of treachery created by a top-level mole with the world in his fist: Parsifal.
Sounds like a fairly typical spy thriller, but Ludlum is a good writer, so there's certainly some substance here. The question is whether or not Yimou can bring some style to the story, maybe with some of the cool action that made Hero and House of Flying Daggers entertaining. But first, a new writer will be found to work on a new draft of the script with Yimou. We're wondering if the story will be updated from the early 80s to contemporary times (especially because of the shifts in spy technology), but a period spy thriller set a few decades in the past would definitely stand out as something different. Stay tuned for more updates.