Universal is moving forward on a screen adaptation of BOURNE author Robert Ludlum's novel THE SIGMA PROTOCOL, per VARIETY.
They have hired IRON MAN writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway to write the screenplay, based on the late author's final novel. Strike Ent. partners Marc Abraham and Eric Newman will produce with Paul L. Sandberg.
THE SIGMA PROTOCOL is about a young investment banker who discovers a secret organization manipulating the global economy. When he attempts to expose the scheme, he's targeted for death.
Universal acquired the material in 2002, before the release of THE BOURNE IDENTITY film, and had several drafts written. Marcum and Holloway had their own take and will work from that.
The writing team will adapt THE SIGMA PROTOCOL before they start on a HIGHLANDER remake. They also scripted Paramount's upcoming CONVOY.
Universal is also working on a fourth BOURNE picture, with Paul Greengrass to direct and Matt Damon to star. The success of BOURNE for Universal has turned the author's work quite popular.
Ludlum's THE CHANCELLOR MANUSCRIPT was sold to Paramount in 2005 for $4 million with producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher developing with Appian Way as a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. MGM and Relativity Media spent $3 million earlier in 2008 to beat out other major studios (Universal included) to get Ludlum's 1979 espionage thriller THE MATARESE CIRCLE with Denzel Washington attached and 3:10 TO YUMA writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas to work on the screenplay.