Sep 17, 2008

Tradecraft: Osterman Redux

Hollywood's posthumous love affair with Robert Ludlum continues! Today's Hollywood Reporter has an article about Mr. & Mrs. Smith scribe Simon Kinberg's new archaeological adventure project with Nicole Kidman attached, The Eighth Wonder. According to the trade, that project aims "to create a movie that will be to Raiders of the Lost Ark what the Bourne movies are to James Bond movies," which sounds tantalizing in itself. But buried in the back of the story is the passing mention that Kinberg "also is working on a new adaptation of [Ludlum's] The Osterman Weekend for Summit [Entertainment]." Some Googling turns up a Variety story I missed in May of last year, which reveals that Kinberg will also direct the new adaptation. There's no way of knowing if that's still the plan sixteen months later, but the mention in today's Reporter at least indicates that the project is still alive. Ludlum's novel follows a reporter, John Tanner, who's co-opted by the CIA into spying on his fellow guests at a weekend getaway with friends, some of whom are are apparently enemy agents. Sam Peckinpah adapted the novel to screen in 1983, but his final cut was famously compromised. In 2004, Anchor Bay released a DVD that included a rough "workprint," ostensibly truer to the director's original vision.

I remain elated by all the new Ludlum movies in development. I just hope that some of them actually get made! (Especially The Matarese Circle with Denzel Washington.)

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