The work of Robert Ludlum – most famously brought to the screen in the Bourne movies – continues to provide fodder for filmmakers. One such director is a surprising choice: Zhang Yimou, who is in negotiations to tackle The Parsifal Mosaic for Universal.
Mosaic, published in 1982 and optioned by the studio in 2009, has been adapted by Road To Perdition’s David Self, and continues Ludlum's line in troubled Cold Warriors. It follows Michael Havelock, a Czech émigré-turned-US intelligence agent who believes he's witnessed his girlfriend's assassination only to later glimpse her in a Rome train station. Havelock is tipped into a shady world of double-crossing and geopolitics, with 'Parsifal' the shady figure behind a nuclear blackmail scheme.
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are producing the adaptation, which will most likely try to update the setting a little. The hunt is already on for a fresh pair of fingers for the keyboard to work with Yimou.
The director, known for dramas such as Raise The Red Lantern and martial arts action films including House Of Flying Daggers, is certainly able to handle this sort of material, and could bring a truly new eye to it. Here’s hoping this one works out. And if he doesn’t end up making it, perhaps he could cast his eye over one of the 76 other Ludlum books in development, including The Matarese Circle, The Janson Directive, The Sigma Protocol and The Ventricle Crankshaft. OK, we made one of those up, but we bet you can't guess which!