Oct 26, 2011

Tradecraft: Universal Follows Ludlum's Janson Directive

Yay! Another Ludlum adaptation in development! Keep 'em coming, Hollywood... and can you do me a favor and actually make one? (One that doesn't have "Bourne" in the title, just for variety?) The latest of the late author's titles to spark the interest of a movie studio, according to Deadline, is his posthumous work The Janson Directive. While a number of books continued to trickle out under his name for years after Ludlum's death, sculpted to varying degrees by various ghost writers, The Janson Directive was the first posthumous title out of the gate, and supposedly mostly completed by Ludlum. It certainly reads like it, anyway, and however much work his editor did finishing up, it was a job well done. The Janson Directive benefited from the momentum Ludlum got from his late career renaissance with its predecessor, The Sigma Protocol. Both are very cinematic books, and should make good movies. Charged with setting Janson in that direction for Universal and Captivate Entertainment (the company built on Ludlum's library of titles) is scribe John Hlavin, who wrote for The Shield and penned an Underworld movie. I'll be interested to see if Hlavin keeps Paul Janson as a Vietnam vet (that war plays a very major role in the book), or attempts to update the story to make him a younger man more in keeping with Bourne. Personally, I hope they keep him on the older side. I can't see another conflict successfully filling the role that Vietnam plays in the book, and I like the idea of a Ludlum movie (or potential franchise) built around an older hero, akin to the Taken series. If anything, that's proven there's a market for old guys who kick ass. Come to think of it, Liam Neeson would make a pretty great choice for Paul Janson!

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