Universal Pictures has made an overall deal with the estate of "The Bourne Identity" author Robert Ludlum that gives the studio exclusive rights to the Jason Bourne character and first look at other Ludlum novels.
The deal with Ludlum Entertainment paves the way for more installments in the Bourne saga, which was originally envisioned as a three-picture series but has become Universal's answer to James Bond.
After the first three films grossed a total of more than $1 billion worldwide, Universal signed Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass for a fourth film that George Nolfi is penning. Produced by Frank Marshall and Ludlum Entertainment chairman-CEO Jeffrey Weiner, the film will be readied for a summer 2010 release.
Weiner will take offices on the Universal lot as part of the deal and hire development executives as the company takes an active hand in developing projects, including some not based on books by Ludlum. He had this to say about the new deal.
"Universal has done such an excellent job with the first three films that they deserve the opportunity to keep Jason Bourne at the studio forever".
The deal also gives Universal an inside track on other Ludlum books that would be developed with Ludlum Entertainment.
"There is a deep Ludlum library. Over 25 of his novels have never been exploited in movies," Weiner said.
Universal is also developing another Ludlum book, "The Sigma Protocol," with Strike Entertainment partners Marc Abraham and Eric Newman. Summit Entertainment has "The Osterman Weekend," with Simon Kinberg set to write and direct.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Universal Nabs Ludlum Deal With Bourne 4 Coming in 2010
This is an impressive deal for Universal. The Bourne films are easily one of the best action films around. I wouldn't mind seeing more Bourne as long as the story is their. Robert Ludlum also has many novels that would make for an interesting film. I'm super excited to see more of his work on the big screen.