Universal first nabbed the rights to Robert Ludlum's The Sigma Protocol back in 2002, and announced its intention to go forward with the adaptation in early 2006. But it has the project languish since then, maybe so as not to cannibalize the audience for its own Bourne films. Now that Bourne has apparently entered the action movie pantheon, the studio is ready to put Sigma on the front burner. They've hired Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, hot commodities after the unqualified success of Iron Man, to write the screenplay. Several other screenwriters have already taken a stab at it, but Marcum and Holloway will start from scratch.

The Sigma Protocol involves a young banker who stumbles upon a conspiracy to manipulate the world economy and finds himself an assassination target. Accompanied by a beautiful intelligence agent, he globe-hops to solve the mystery and elude his pursuers.

You may recall that Marcum and Holloway are also attached to write a Highlander remake. According to The Hollywood Reporter, they'll be doing The Sigma Protocol first. No director, cast, or timeline has been announced, but Sigma joins three other Ludlum projects in active development -- The Chancellor Manuscript, to star Leonardo DiCaprio, The Matarese Circle, with Denzel Washington attached, and a fourth Bourne flick with Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass set to return.

The Bourne films are remarkable for making Ludlum's kind-of-silly (if entertaining) potboiler stories uncommonly classy, but I'd like to see one of these films embrace the silliness and really go over the top.
CATEGORIES Action, Cinematical