Universal, Ludlum ink long-term deal for Bourne franchise

Mumbai: Universal Pictures and Ludlum Entertainment 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. We look forward to bringing more Bourne stories to fans all over the globe," said Universal Pictures president of production Donna Langley.

Universal Pictures co-president of production and executive vice president Jimmy Horowitz added, "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. George Nolfi will pen the script, and Frank Marshall 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 Ludlum Entertainment chairman and CEO Jeffrey Weiner.

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. The deal with Universal was negotiated by Weiner for Ludlum Entertainment.

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