Hollywood has been good to Dwayne Johnson since the wrestler made his acting debut as The Scorpion King in 2001’s The Mummy Returns. In the years since he’s seen great success from the Journey the Center of the Earth, G.I. Joe, and Fast & Furious franchises, and will soon get to play the supervillain, Black Adam in Warner Bros./DC Comics’ feature, Shazam.
Yet, the opportunity to head his own action-adventure franchise still alludes Johnson. Or, it did until those behind bringing The Janson Directive – Bourne creator/author Robert Ludlum’s final novel – to the big screen came calling.
Based off Ludlum’s novel of the same name – published posthumously in 2002 – The Janson Directive follows an ex-Navy SEAL who’s targeted by the U.S. government after taking part in a rescue mission that goes horribly wrong. Similar the Bourne series, The Janson Directive deals with a hero wronged by government conspiracies, forced to work outside the law to clear his name.
Since the film was first announced, Johnson has been rumored as attached, but today the actor made it official with the tweet:
As you can read, Johnson also shared the news Academy Award-winning screenwriter, Akiva Goldman (A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend) has been tapped to write the script. His addition is definitely good news, as it gives The Janson Directive potential to be more than simply another Bourne knock-off.
Originally, in Ludlum’s novel the character of Paul Janson is a veteran of the Vietnam War, but it seems likely Goldsman will update this origin to better fit a modern setting. Much like how Jason Bourne was brought out of the Cold War and into today’s political climate.
Johnson’s latest string of leading roles in films like Snitch and Hercules haven’t been as well received as his work in more popular franchises, but The Janson Directive could be a tipping point. Johnson has proved over and over he has the charisma to carry his own series, he’s just needed the right project. And again, with a script from Goldsman, The Janson Directive could make Johnson a heavily sought after leading man.
How does The Janson Directive starring Dwayne Johnson, with a script from Akive Goldsman sound to you? Is it just a Bourne copycat, or could it be more? Sound off in the comments below!
Stay tuned to Screen Rant as more news about The Janson Directive develops!