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Universal Looks at More Ludlum

Universal is in negotiations for the film rights to Robert Ludlum's THE PARSIFAL MOSAIC, in what could be the first major project for Captivate Ent., the company that controls the rights to Ludlum's novels, per VARIETY.

Universal and Captivate signed an overall deal last year, in the wake of the studio's success with the BOURNE IDENTITY series. The deal gives Universal first-look at all Ludlum titles, 25 of which haven't been optioned off yet, as well as the rights to continue the BOURNE series into a fourth film and beyond.

Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass are signed on for a fourth film based on an original idea, while Universal and Strike Ent. are also working on an adaptation of THE SIGMA PROTOCOL.

MGM recently announced Tom Cruise's interest in starring opposite Denzel Washington in David Cronenberg's thriller THE MATARESE CIRCLE, also based on a Ludlum novel. MGM's deal for MATARESE occurred before the Universal-Captivate marriage.

MOSAIC involves a U.S. intelligence agent who thinks he witnesses the execution of his lover, who was revealed to be a KGB double agent. Grieving, he leaves the government but sees her alive, leading to him attempting to locate her and unravel the conspiracy. Universal will likely fast track the film.