Universal Sets Zhang Yimou To Helm Robert Ludlum Adaptation ‘The Parsifal Mosaic’

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 4:32pm PST
Mike Fleming

Marrakech International Film Festival - Tribute To Zhang Yimou - Red Carpet PhotocallEXCLUSIVE: What’s a Robert Ludlum thriller without an unexpected plot twist? How about Universal Pictures setting Zhang Yimou to direct The Parsifal Mosaic, the Ludlum bestseller that Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are producing with Captivate’s Jeffrey Weiner and Ben Smith? I’m told this is the first time that a mainland Chinese director has signed to do an English-language film with a film studio in the U.S. That was the goal when, in May 2012, CAA signed the filmmaker whose film Ju Dou became the first Chinese feature to be nominated for an Oscar, and who also directed the dazzling Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It is not clear yet whether this will be his first Hollywood film or not because he has other irons in the fire. Zhang’s films include the BAFTA-winning Raise The Red Lantern, Hero, House Of Flying Daggers and the Christian Bale starrer Flowers Of War. His latest film, Coming Home, is in the process of being acquired out of Berlin by Sony Pictures Classics, which releases most of Zhang’s Chinese films. Read More »

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Robert Ludlum’s ‘Sigma Protocol’ Gets Rewrite From Julie Bush

By | Monday December 16, 2013 @ 4:11pm PST
Mike Fleming

Julie_Deadline_2EXCLUSIVE: Julie Bush has been set by Universal to script a new draft of The Sigma Protocol, the last novel by the late Robert Ludlum. Captivate Entertainment’s Jeffrey Weiner and Ben Smith are producing with Irwin Winkler … Read More »

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New ‘Bourne’ Chapter In Works At Universal For Jeremy Renner’s Aaron Cross Character

By | Friday August 2, 2013 @ 11:53am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is getting the wheels moving on a fifth installment of The Bourne Identity franchise. I’ve heard that studio has hired Anthony Peckham to script a film that is designed to continue the storyline of Aaron … Read More »

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Brian Kirk In Talks To Helm Robert Ludlum’s ‘The Osterman Weekend’

By | Tuesday February 28, 2012 @ 1:18pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Brian Kirk is in talks to direct The Osterman Weekend, the adaptation of the Robert Ludlum novel for Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment and Captivate Entertainment.

The Irish helmer is also developing Paper Wings at Sony as a potential Tom Cruise vehicle, as … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Bourne Legacy’

By | Wednesday February 8, 2012 @ 10:06am PST
Mike Fleming

Universal has just released its first trailer for The Bourne Legacy, the Tony Gilroy-directed spinoff of the studio’s blockbuster Bourne Identity series. This time, Jeremy Renner takes center stage as the protagonist. Coming off The Hurt Locker and Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol, Renner’s growing into action hero mode. Will the film … Read More »

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Universal Taps Irwin Winkler For Robert Ludlum’s ‘The Sigma Protocol’

By | Thursday January 12, 2012 @ 4:38pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After re-starting one Robert Ludlum novel franchise with The Bourne Legacy, Universal Pictures is looking to get in gear with The Sigma Protocol, the last thriller Ludlum wrote before he passed away. The studio has set Irwin Winkler and Jose … Read More »

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Universal And Captivate Target Next Robert Ludlum Thriller: ‘The Janson Directive’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After getting the spinoff film The Bourne Legacy into production with Tony Gilroy directing his script and Jeremy Renner starring, Universal Pictures, Captivate Entertainment and Ludlum Entertainment are moving forward with another feature adaptation of a Robert Ludlum thriller novel. The studio has hired John Hlavin to script The Janson Directive, one of the last novels Ludlum wrote before he died in 2001. Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner are producing through Captivate, which has a first look Universal deal. The production company just signed with UTA.

Published a year after Ludlum’s death, The Janson Directive focuses on Paul Janson, an ex-Navy SEAL and former member of the covert government agency Consular Operations. In the book, he is haunted by memories of the Vietnam War and his mentor and commanding officer, whose sadistic side prompted him to turn Janson over to the enemy to be tortured. Janson escaped and provided the evidence of war crimes that caused his CO’s execution. Years later, Janson is a corporate security consultant who takes a job rescuing an important man, but when the job goes awry, Janson is targeted for a “beyond salvage” termination order. He has no choice but to follow the clues that lead him to a massive scandal. Read More »

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Summit’s Post-’Twilight’ Chapter To Be Underwritten By Book Adaptations

Mike Fleming

The start of Summit Entertainment’s trajectory began when the mini-major convinced Stephenie Meyer to sell her Twilight Saga book series after she’d been left so frustrated by how Paramount Pictures let it languish. Was it a billion dollar lucky break? … Read More »

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Scribe For Ludlum’s ‘Osterman Weekend’

Mike Fleming

Summit Entertainment signed Jesse Wigutow to do a rewrite of The Osterman Weekend, the Robert Ludlum thriller. The picture was previously adapted into a 1983 Sam Peckinpah-directed film. Summit is trying to move fast to lock in Robert Schwentke, who is attracting buzz for his upcoming Bruce Willis-Helen Mirren starrer Red. Schwentke has competition for his next slot, as Universal wants him for RIPD with Ryan Reynolds. Wigutow just scripted an untitled Steve McQueen biopic, as well Divorcees for Universal and Snepp at HBO. Read More »

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‘Red’ Director Robert Schwentke Jumps Into Fox 2000′s ‘Shadow Divers’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Robert Schwentke, whose upcoming Helen Mirren-Bruce Willis-John Malkovich shoot-em-up Red got a big Comic-Con reaction, has taken the plunge on Shadow Divers, the Fox 2000 adaptation of the Robert Kurson book. It is one of a couple films … Read More »

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Thriller Books-To-Films: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Mike Fleming

the-bourne-identity-by-robert-ludlumThe just completed Thrillerfest — think  Comic-Con for thriller authors and their fans —   featured a lecture that caught my eye. Sleepers author Lorenzo Carcaterra chose the 10 best thriller films made from books, the 10 worst, and the 10 he … Read More »

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