Dwayne Johnson Confirms Role in Spy Thriller ‘The Janson Directive’

By September 29, 2014

I have good news and bad news for fans of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (which, let’s face it, should be just about everyone since the dude is charismatic as hell and a great action movie star). Here’s the good news first: as was rumored earlier this summer, Johnson will indeed star in The Janson Directive, a film adaptation of the late Robert Ludlam’s novel.

Ludlam, for those of you who don’t know, is the guy who wrote the Bourne books, and this project – while not a Bourne movie – is definitely in the spy thriller genre, telling the story of a covert agent named Paul Janson who must rescue a billionaire philanthropist. But when the rescue op goes bad, Janson is marked for death and disavowed by his agency, and he must outwit a hotshot young agent who’s hot on his trail while unraveling a conspiracy that goes far beyond his understanding. Sounds like it has potential, and it may be a bit brainier than the stuff Johnson is usually associated with. So that’s the good news.

The bad news? On Johnson’s Twitter account, he announced the writer of the project:


That’s right – this movie will be written by the guy who wrote Batman & Robin. Akiva Goldsman has received a ton of crap from the film blogging world for his work on that script, but as Johnson pointed out, he’s also an Oscar-winning writer (A Beautiful Mind). I’m not going to talk any trash about him personally, but the past few movies he’s written haven’t struck me as particularly great, and he’s seemingly become a go-to guy for when you need a nice, easy, middle-of-the-road thriller. (I’m looking at you, The Da Vinci Code.) I’m guessing his work adapting Dan Brown’s conspiratorial novels got him the job here, and I’m really hoping that Johnson is able to inject some life into this project when it gets started filming, because if we use Goldsman’s recent scripts as an example, The Janson Directive might be in trouble before it even gets started.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.