Universal Pictures to start Cinematic Universe based on Robert Ludlum novels

Universal Pictures has enlisted screenwriter James Vanderbilt to help craft a cinematic universe based on the works of Robert Ludlum, author of The Bourne Identity.

First up in this universe will be the adaptation of Ludlum’s The Janson Directive, which will star Dwayne Johnson.

Vanderbilt will adapt Janson Directive from a story co-authored with Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman, who incidentally has a hand in the upcoming Transformers shared universe.

The new deal seeks to give cohesion to the individual titles (auch as The Parsifal Mosaic, The Sigma Protocol and Covert One), bringing them under one umbrella and giving them crossover points. As well as writing Janson, Vanderbily will have writing duties on the other projects in the universe.

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.”

Janson centers on Paul Janson, a former operative who is now the best private security consultant in the world. The action begins when he is framed for the murder of a prominent Nobel laureate and must join forces with the protege sent to kill him in order to survive.

No word yet on when production on the film will begin, nor when to expect it in cinemas.