Universal Rushes Ludlum’s Protocol

Universal Pictures is rushing forward with its planned adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s “The Sigma Protocol” reports the trades.

Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (“Iron Man”) have been hired to pen the screenplay based on the late “Bourne Identity” author’s 2001 novel, and will get to work on it before their commitments to pen a “Highlander” remake for Summit Entertainment.

The story centers on an American economist who becomes the target of professional assassins. When a U.S. intelligence agent investigating his case finds herself discredited, the two end up on the run and uncover a multinational conspiracy manipulating the global economy and world events.

The novel was the first book of Ludlum’s published posthumously. Other Ludlum books currently in development include “The Matarese Circle” with Denzel Washington and “The Chancellor Manuscript” with Leonardo DiCaprio attached.