Denzel Washington Attached to Matarese Circle

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On the heels of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.’s (MGM) re-establishment as a major force, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures with Relativity Media (RMLLC) have secured the rights to acclaimed author Robert Ludlum’s suspense thriller, “The Matarese Circle.” The parties have also closed a deal with two-time Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington to star in the film adaptation of the best-selling novel with the same title.

The announcement was made today by Mary Parent, Chairperson, Worldwide Motion Picture Group, MGM and Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh.

A leading author of suspense and international intrigue, Ludlum is the best selling author of such spy fiction novels as the Jason Bourne series upon which the hugely successful Bourne film trilogy is based. The American author had written 21 thriller novels during his career. More than 210 million copies of his books have been printed. Ludlum’s novels have been translated into 32 languages.

“Like many of Ludlum’s other works, ‘The Matarese Circle’ has all of the elements of a truly great film and possible franchise. Add Denzel Washington to this and we couldn’t have hoped for a better announcement to kick off the ramping up of the studio’s motion picture operation,” said Parent.

Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, who wrote 3:10 to Yuma as well as the upcoming action film Wanted, are set to write. Jeffrey Weiner (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Supremacy), Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers) and Nick Wechsler (North Country) will serve as producers.

“We have had a strong relationship with Mary and MGM and both companies were equally interested in acquiring this film,” said Kavanaugh. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with MGM on this project.” Tucker Tooley will oversee creative for Relativity.

Set during the Cold War, the book pairs rival spies, one from the CIA and the other from the KGB, who bury the hatchet for the moment because only they possess the smarts and killing abilities to go up against an international circle of killers called the Matarese.