With the Jason Bourne series branching out in bold new directions by completely getting rid of the whole “Bourne” thing everywhere but in a title that people will recognize, Universal and Captivate Entertainment are hedging their bets by prepping other Robert Ludlum properties for potential franchises. The latest is The Janson Directive, among the final thrillers that Ludlum generated before selfishly dying in 2001, thus depriving new generations of things to read while waiting to board their spaceships. The Janson Directive, of course, concerns another ass-kicking secret ops agent—an ex-Navy SEAL, former Vietnam POW, and member of a mysterious government agency who, while working on a rescue mission, uncovers evidence that sometimes mysterious government agencies do underhanded, mysterious things, then finds himself targeted for assassination by a younger agent. It’s currently being scripted by John Hlavin, who will get an actual story to work from as a reward for recently tasking him with turning the board game Risk into “a contemporary global action thriller.”
As mentioned a few sentences ago, The Janson Directive is just one of several Ludlum films currently in development: Universal and Captivate are also collaborating on adaptations of The Sigma Protocol and The Parsifal Mosaic (possibly with Ron Howard), while Captivate is partnering with Summit Entertainment and Red director Robert Schwentke—whose name would make an excellent Ludlum novel—on a new film version of The Osterman Weekend (previously adapted by Sam Peckinpah). So consider this a warning to other producers looking to get in on the action that this leaves only approximately 150 other Robert Ludlum books to draw from—titles like The Horowitz Contract, The Percival Conundrum, The Magoo Affair, The Wallabee Code, The Deacon Hornswoggle, The Benedict Cumberbatch, and The Omega Luncheon, all of which we just made up, or maybe not.