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Universal and Dwayne Johnson are making a Robert Ludlum cinematic universe

(Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

It’s been years since we heard about Dwayne Johnson starring in an adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s The Janson Directive, but as Ludlum’s Jason Bourne has proven many times, action movie vehicles like this never really die…they just go away for a while until the studio realizes that there’s money to be made off of them. The original idea for the Janson movie was that it would establish a Bourne-like series for Johnson to star in, but that was way back in 2014. It’s 2016 now, and a concept like that is just way too small for modern movie audiences to bother with. That’s why, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal’s simple adaptation of The Janson Directive has now been expanded into an entire Robert Ludlum cinematic universe.

A whole team of screenwriters (including Transformers veteran Akiva Goldsman) has now been tasked with developing a series of Ludlum adaptations, with Johnson’s Janson being the one that will kick it all off. The other books that will be adapted haven’t been announced yet, and it’s unclear how big of a role Janson himself will play in the larger universe, but it sounds like Jason Bourne is being spared from all of these crossover shenanigans (for now) as he’s barely even mentioned in THR’s report.


Going back to The Janson Directive, it’ll star Johnson as Janson, “a former operative” who now works as a private security consultant—at least until he gets “framed for the murder of a prominent Nobel laureate.” Johnson says the story is “classic Robert Ludlum,” with its “sharp, edgy, and layered storylines” and a “complex, conflicted, badass, and lethal” lead character that Johnson “can’t wait to sink [his] teeth into.”

Meanwhile, Universal is also still developing a cinematic universe based on its collection of classic monsters, with Tom Cruise set to star in a reboot of the Mummy series. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of time before these two cinematic universes merge with each other and we have Dwayne Johnson battling a wolfman alongside Jason Bourne and a Frankenstein.

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