Shared cinematic universes are all the rage now that Marvel has successfully steered theirs, and every major Hollywood studio wants a piece of the pie. The newest one? It will be based around the works of the late Robert Ludlum.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal now wants a Robert Ludlum Cinematic Universe that will kick off with The Janson Directive, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The studio already has a Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe in the works.
James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man) has been tapped to write the screenplay for The Janson Directive from a story co-authored with Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman, and is also one of the team that will spearhead a series of movies based on Ludlum’s novels. Ludlum is, of course, known the world over for his Jason Bourne series of novels, and his spy thrillers have sold over than 300 million copies worldwide.
On top of writing The Janson Directive, Vanderbilt will also co-author two more stories/treatments based on Ludlum’s books, which have yet to be revealed. Those treatments will then be adapted into screenplays by other screenwriters.
The Janson Directive centers on Paul Janson, an ex-Navy SEAL and former government operative who has become the best private security consultant in the world. When he is framed for the murder of a Nobel laureate, and several U.S. officials are assassinated, Janson must join forces with the protégé who was sent to kill him in order to solve the mystery of a decades-old conspiracy and survive.
How Johnson will feature into future films is still unclear, but the busy actor is super excited about bringing Paul Janson to life on the big screen:
“The Janson Directive is classic Robert Ludlum,” Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
How he'll fit the movie into his busy schedule remains to be seen. Johnson just wrapped Baywatch and will soon begin shooting Jumanji and Fast 8. He’s also got Rampage, San Andreas 2 and a few more movie projects in the works, including his Shazam! comic book movie and a mystery Shane Black project that may or may not be Doc Savage.
What do you think about The Janson Directive coming to the big screen with Dwayne Johnson in the title role? Is a Robert Ludlum Cinematic Universe one too many?