Dwayne Johnson to Launch Robert Ludlum Movie Universe

Shared universes are all the rage these days.  Following the tremendous success of Marvel’s films where each of the characters exist within the same world and can freely move in and out of each others movies, studios have been trying to replicate that by creating their own combined movie worlds out of existing properties.  Universal has a monster movie universe developing, DC has done the same thing with their heroes, Transformers is expanding to a shared universe, etc. etc.  The latest to join this craze is a cinematic universe that will focus on the works of Robert Ludlum.  Read more about it below.

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The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Universal Pictures, screenwriter James Vanderbilt, Dwayne Johnson and Captivate Entertainment’s Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner are teaming up to develop a series of movies built around the books by Lundlum.  Lundlum is the best-selling author of the Bourne books, which have been adapted to the popular film franchise starring Matt Damon.  It is unclear at this time whether the Bourne films will be connected to this “universe”, but according to the report there are still many other properties being woven into this connected world.  Here’s what The Hollywood Reporter had to say:

“Universal had been working with Captivate on bringing to the screen many of the spy thrillers penned by Ludlum, who died in 2001 and whose books have sold around 300 million copies. The Parsifal Mosaic, The Sigma Protocol and Covert One are among them, and the shingle had already been actively developing Janson.

The new deal seeks to give cohesion to the individual titles, bringing them under one umbrella and giving them crossover points. On top of writing Janson, Vanderbilt, who worked with Johnson when he co-wrote the actor’s early action movie, 2003’s The Rundown, will co-author two more stories/treatments based on the Ludlum books, which have not been named, giving shape to the action universe. The treatments will then be adapted into screenplays by scribes yet to be hired.”

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The article goes on to highlight the enthusiasm of all parties involved at forming this franchise and specifically their optimism about The Janson Directive.  Dwayne Johnson, one of the internet’s best hype men, took to his Twitter account to announce the partnership.

The first movie out as part of this shared universe will be The Janson Directive.  Here’s the synopsis for the book on the official Robert Lundlum site:

“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…”

What do you think about more movies based on the works of Robert Lundlum and the interconnection of each of his stories?  I will update you as soon as I hear any additional information about this project.

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