Tradecraft: More Matarese
Today's Hollywood Reporter offers a few more details on yesterday's news that David Cronenberg is in negotiations to direct The Matarese Circle. They also reiterate that "a fourth Bourne film is in development at Universal with returning director Paul Greengrass" and do a roundup of other Ludlum bestsellers currently lined up to get the big screen treatment. "Several other Ludlum properties are in development at Paramount (The Chancellor Manuscript) and Universal (The Sigma Protocol). And Summit is developing a remake of Ludlum's early work The Osterman Weekend, which Sam Peckinpah turned into a film in 1983."
Interestingly, though there have been surprisingly few Ludlum film adaptations over the years (especially given the late author's prolific output, even after his death), those that have been made have all attracted top tier directors. Peckinpah, John Frankenheimer, Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass have all tried their hands at Ludlum, and Martin Scrosese is said to be circling The Chancellor Manuscript.
When The Matarese Circle was first announced with Denzel Washington attached, I wondered who would end up playing the Russian agent, Vasili Taleniekov. Ain't It Cool has also picked up this story from the trades, and some of the Talkbackers there point out that Cronenberg has a favorite actor to work with who's already pulled off a Russian accent very successfully for the director: Viggo Mortensen. Don't know why that didn't occur to me! I'd love to see Washington and Mortensen team up for such an impressive director on a Robert Ludlum movie.