Ludlum’s Osterman Weekend Remade

Summit Entertainment has unveiled its slate of development projects over on Variety with one in particular drawing attention – a new version of “The Osterman Weekend.”

Based on the acclaimed 1972 novel by “The Bourne Identity” author Robert Ludlum, the story has the host of an investigative news show becoming convinced by a CIA agent that the friends he has invited to a weekend in the country are engaged in a KGB conspiracy that threatens national security.

The second and shortest of Ludlum’s works, the book was famously adapted once before in 1983 by trend-setting helmer Sam Peckinpah (“Straw Dogs,” “The Getaway,” “Convoy”). The final film of Peckinpah’s career, it starred a stellar cast including John Hurt, Craig T. Nelson, Rutger Hauer, Dennis Hopper, Meg Foster, Burt Lancaster and Chris Sarandon.

The resulting film however was a legendarily incomprehensible mess, thanks mostly to a convoluted script which took many liberties with the work, and Peckinpah’s ill health and slow psychological breakdown brought on by years of major substance abuse.

Ludlum himself offered to rewrite the overly complex and confusing script for free, but differences between the producers and Peckinpah prevented this from happening. Peckinpah was fired when he refused to re-edit the film after very confusing test screening results.

“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” scribe Simon Kimberg will make his directorial debut on this new incarnation of the project, a more faithful and more contemporary version of Ludlum’s work (ie. will probably swap secret KGB agents for Islamic terrorist sleeper cell members) with shooting expected to start late this year.

Other projects on Summit’s slate include “Labyrinth,” a Hilary Swank-led remake of the French thriller “Dedales”; an adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” novel series about a family of vampires; and a sequel to last year’s Channing Tatum dance movie “Step Up.”