Dwayne Johnson to star in The Janson Directive

MoviesBy Sunday World
Dwayne Johnson to star in The Janson Directive

Dwayne Johnson will star in the adaptation of Robert Ludlum's 'The Janson Directive'.

The 44-year-old actor - who started his career as wrestler The Rock in the WWE - has been signed up to star in the first instalment in a series of movies based on the works of Robert Ludlum - the best-selling author behind 'Jason Bourne spy franchise'.

Speaking about his involvement, Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter: "'The Janson Directive' is classic Robert Ludlum. Sharp, edgy and layered storylines. The character is complex, conflicted, bad ass and lethal - I can't wait to sink my teeth into this and bring him to life. Between Jamie, Akiva, Captivate and Universal, it's an exciting time to help produce and build out this awesome Ludlum universe."

The film centres on Paul Janson, a former Navy SEAL who is now the best private security consultant in the world. He is framed for the murder of a prominent Nobel laureate and must join forces with the protégé sent to kill him in order to survive.

Johnson has just wrapped up filming on the new 'Baywatch' movie for Paramount, which also stars Zac Efron and he will also appear in Sony's reboot of 'Jumanji'.

Producing 'The Janson Directive' is Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner (Captivate Entertainment) alongside James Vanderbilt, Brad Fischer and William Sherak (Mythology Entertainment).

Smith said: "James has a deep understanding of the unique themes that run through Robert Ludlum's novels, many of which are more relevant to today's world than when they were published. [Universal's] Donna Langley, Jimmy Horowitz, Peter Cramer and we at Captivate have discussed building a connective world with Ludlum's works and found an ideal creative partner in James to craft this visceral, grounded, cinematic universe. Dwayne Johnson is the perfect actor to bring Paul Janson to the screen, and we are thrilled to have him as a cornerstone of this exciting franchise."

Universal Pictures has teamed up with Vanderbilt, who will adapt 'The Janson Directive' from a story co-authored with Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman. Goldsman also is producing, as is Hiram Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions.

Vanderbilt said: "I've been obsessed with Robert Ludlum ever since I was a kid, and the opportunity to play in this sandbox and create an interconnected universe based on the works of one of the best espionage writers of all time is a dream come true."

Vanderbilt will co-author two more stories/treatments based on the Ludlum books, which have not been named, giving shape to the action universe.

Johnson and Dany Garcia are executive producing 'The Janson Directive' via Seven Bucks with Tracey Nyberg of Mythology.

Dany Garcia added: "This is a powerful project that has brought together an amazing group of individuals committed to bringing the absolute best to Robert Ludlum's work."

The project aims to bring many of the spy thrillers, penned by Ludlum, to the big screen.

Ludlum died in 2001 but he has sold around 300 million copies of his books - including 'The Parsifal Mosaic', 'The Sigma Protocol' and 'Covert One'.