A couple of months ago Dwayne Johnson was reported to be in talks to star in Universal’s adaptation of Robert Ludlum‘s novel The Janson Directive. Now it has been confirmed that he is officially cast. Not only that, but Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman will be writing the script (presumably a page-one rewrite of the draft John Hlavin was commissioned to execute a few years ago). Make no mistake, Universal wants to fashion this into a Bourne style franchise for Johnson and I… have no problem with that. It’s gotta be better than The Bourne Legacy.
The story follows a former consular ops agent who goes into business as a private security consultant after becoming uncomfortable with the high number of sanctioned killings as a covert operative. I’m kind of looking forward to seeing Johnson do serious action work that doesn’t have the wink and nod element built in (though I love the Fast & Furious movies). Hit the jump for more on The Janson Directive.
Here’s the official synopsis for Ludlum’s book:
When billionaire philanthropist Peter Novak is kidnapped by a terrorist known as The Caliph, it’s up to Paul Janson—a legend in the notorious U.S. covert agency Consular Operations—to save him. But Janson’s rescue operation goes horribly wrong…and soon Janson is marked for death, the target of a “beyond salvage” order issued from the highest level of the government. Now Janson is running for his life, pursued by Jessica Kincaid, a young agent of astonishing ability who can anticipate and counter his every move. To survive, Janson must outrace a conspiracy that has gone beyond the control of its originators. To win, he must counter it with a conspiracy of his own…
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 27, 2014