Universal Lands Ludlum & More Bourne

Universal Pictures has set a deal with “The Bourne Identity” author Robert Ludlum’s estate that gives them exclusive rights to the Jason Bourne character and first look at other Ludlum novels reports Variety.

Though originally planned as a three-film series, the ‘Bourne’ franchise has proven a huge success a become one of the studio’s biggest franchises.

The deal locks in their right to move ahead with a fourth ‘Bourne’ film which Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass have signed on for and are ready for a Summer 2010 release.

The deal gives them first option of Ludlum’s other works, a smart move considering several other film versions of his works are in development – MGM’s “THe Matarese Circle” with Denzel Washington and David Cronenberg directing, Summit Entertainment’s “The Osterman Weekend,” Paramount’s “The Chancellor Manuscript” with Leonardo DiCaprio attached, and “The Sigma Protocol” which Universal themselves are planning.