Dwayne Johnson continues to earn his reputation as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood.
There’s yet another cinematic universe on the way, this one based off the books written by best-selling author Robert Ludlum, also known for writing the Jason Bourne book series.
THR is reporting that Universal Pictures has teamed up with Mythology Entertainment’s James Vanderbilt, Brad Fischer and William Sherak, as well as Captivate Entertainment’s Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner to develop a series of films set to adapt Ludlum’s novels.
First up will be The Janson Directive, which will see Johnson playing Paul Janson, a former operative turned private security consultant. When he is framed for the murder of a prominent Nobel laureate, Janson must join forces with the protege sent to kill him in order to survive.
Set to pen the first feature is screenwriter James Vanderbilt, whose credits include early Johnson vehicle The Rundown (aka Welcome to the Jungle), Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man and the upcoming Independence Day: Resurgence. Vanderbilt is working off a story he co-wrote with Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar-winning scribe who penned A Beautiful Mind, co-wrote I Am Legend and has a role overseeing the Transformers cinematic universe.
Apart from The Janson Directive, Vanderbilt has been hired to co-write two more plots/treatments based on Ludlum books, which will formulate the action universe. Screenwriters will be brought in once these treatments have been greenlit.
“The Janson Directive is classic Robert Ludlum,” Johnson told THR. “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.”
Universal Pictures is jumping into cinematic universes in a big way. Apart from this new Ludlum universe, they also have the continuation of their Bourne universe and the interconnected monster universe on the way. The latter will see Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe starring in a new version of The Mummy.
Also on the horizon for Johnson is Central Intelligence, the action-comedy co-starring Kevin Hart; Baywatch, the feature remake co-starring Zac Efron; Jumanji, a reboot co-starring Hart and Jack Black; Rampage, a video game adaptation directed by San Andreas helmer Brad Peyton; and a San Andreas sequel, with Peyton again in the director’s chair. Oh, and don’t forget that Johnson also has the HBO series Ballers.
Johnson took to Instagram to spread the news: