Dwayne Johnson's 'The Janson Directive' To Kick Off A New Cinematic Universe

Best known as the author behind the "Jason Bourne" novels, Robert Ludlum's books encompass many corners of the espionage world. Universal jumped on the Bourne novels and found great success with Matt Damon playing the titular super-agent, and it continues this summer when Jason Bourne hits theaters. But they've also got Dwayne Johnson attached to their long-developing adaptation of Ludlum's The Janson Directive, which will be just the start of something much bigger.

According to THR, Ludlum's books are about to become part of a cinematic universe, with The Janson Directive kicking things off. No word on if Universal plans to meld 'Bourne' in with it, but even if they don't there are enough stories to make it pretty large. James Vanderbilt, who worked with Johnson on The Rundown, has been brought on to rewrite the 'Janson' screenplay, which centers on a top covert agent named Paul Janson who is framed for a crime and pursued by a female agent capable of predicting his every move.

Ludlum wrote more than two dozen novels, most of the espionage variety, before his death in 2001.  The Janson Directive was published posthumously in 2002, and was followed by three sequels written by other authors. It will be interesting to see if Universal decides to fit the 'Bourne' movies into this new universe, possibly setting up a crossover featuring Damon and Johnson.