Universal Nabs Exclusive Rights to Bourne Novels

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Executives from Universal Pictures and Ludlum Entertainment announced today that they have entered into a long-term deal that gives Universal the exclusive rights to continue making films based on the Jason Bourne character. The “Bourne” franchise has been one of Universal’s most popular and profitable franchises with The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum grossing a total of almost $1 billion worldwide at the box office, while 30 million copies have been sold in North America alone since the series debut in home entertainment.

“The ‘Bourne’ films have redefined the action genre with their smart and fast-paced approach,” said President of Production for Universal Pictures Donna Langley. “We look forward to bringing more Bourne stories to fans all over the globe.”

Added Co-President of Production and Executive Vice President of Universal Pictures Jimmy Horowitz, “The ‘Bourne’ franchise is one of our crown jewels at Universal. We are thrilled to be in business with our partners from Ludlum Entertainment for the foreseeable future.”

In the fourth film, which is currently in development, Matt Damon will return as trained assassin Jason Bourne for the latest showdown. The espionage thriller will reunite Damon with Academy Award®-nominated director Paul Greengrass (United 93, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, upcoming Green Zone). George Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum, Ocean’s Twelve) will pen the script, and Frank Marshall (The “Bourne” series, “Indiana Jones” series) and Jeffrey Weiner from Ludlum Entertainment will produce.

“We’re glad that an agreement was reached that keeps the ‘Bourne’ franchise with Universal Pictures for many years to come and creates the opportunity to jointly develop new projects in the future,” said Jeffrey Weiner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ludlum Entertainment.

The agreement includes a first-look producing deal for Ludlum Entertainment to develop other properties in its library with Universal. The studio currently has in development The Sigma Protocol, based on the popular book owned by Ludlum Entertainment.