Dwayne Johnson Could Star in Robert Ludlam Adaptation ‘The Janson Directive’

By July 8, 2014

For me, Dwayne Johnson is one of the most entertaining personalities in Hollywood today. He’s made a habit out of revitalizing franchises, and for a big guy, he has loads of charisma that makes him just plain fun to watch. He’s starring in Hercules (a movie I’m not sure even he can save) and the earthquake action film San Andreas soon, but Variety reports that he’s lining up a movie that may require a bit more than smash and grab tactics: he’s reportedly in talks with Universal to star in The Janson Directive, a movie based on the novel by the late “Bourne Identity” writer Robert Ludlam.

If the deal goes through, Johnson would star and produce the film, which is out to writers right now. Universal – the home of the Bourne series – already has a working relationship with the Ludlam estate, having turned Bourne into one of their biggest franchises. With the lackluster performance of the Matt Damon-less Bourne Legacy fresh in their minds, it appears that the execs over there are hoping to recapture something with that same spirit in case the upcoming Legacy sequel also doesn’t connect with audiences. The novel was published a year after Ludlam’s death, but other writers have come on board to create a series of books based around the lead character, so presumably a franchise could be brewing if the first movie does well enough.

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I actually read The Janson Directive about ten years ago, and it didn’t leave a huge impression on me. Hopefully Johnson’s involvement will bring top talent to the project and the movie version will be a bit more memorable. Here’s the synopsis of the story from Amazon:

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…

What do you think? Sound like something you’d enjoy watching with The Rock as the lead?

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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.