Denzel Washington is attached
to the film version of The Matarese Circle, the bestselling thriller by Robert Ludlum. After the success of the Bourne Identity and subsequent film starring Matt Damon, studio execs are looking for another top spy franchise.
The project, "The Matarese Circle," revolves around two secret agents -- an American and a Russian -- who must work together to fight a mysterious group of killers known as the Matarese. The twist: The agents, Bradley Scofield and Vasili Taleniekov, have been nemeses for years, with each responsible for killing someone close to the other. According to those familiar with the pitch, Washington would play Scofield.
Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, the scribes behind Lionsgate's "3:10 to Yuma" and upcoming Universal tentpole "Wanted," are attached as writers. Veteran producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler are on board as producers.
Nearly all the major studios have heard at least a version of the pitch, with several thought to be keenly interested; however, no deal had been struck.
After decades during which the late Ludlum's novels failed to gain big screen traction, the thriller novelist is now hot in Hollywood. Universal's "Bourne" series, based on his globehopping Cold War novels and with Damon as the title character, has earned more than $900 million worldwide.
We think Denzel is a perfect lead for this project. Because he's starting to freak us out with how amazing he is at playing really bad guys. Think Training Day and American Gangster. We're ready to see Denzel as a world-class spy. Time to hit the gym!