Elite Squad director on Ludlum's Sigma Protocol
A while ago we heard about Robert Ludlum's The Sigma Protocol (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) being bought up to be developed into a film, well now the word is that Universal is in talks with José Padilha, the director of Tropa de Elite or The Elite Squad and the excellent Ônibus 174 also known as Bus 174.
Going by the strength of those two films the decision to take him on as director is a great one, however it will be his first English language film, and for foreign directors that hasn't always turned out to be such a great move.
Tropa de Elite (The Elite Squad) (Filmstalker review) and Ônibus 174 (Bus 174) (Filmstalker review) are excellent films which really pile on tension and action and as can be seen in Ônibus 174 especially, have great pacing and structure to them. I do think that that the news through The Hollywood Reporter that Padilha is taking the helm is superb, and he could do wonders with this story.
The Sigma Protocol is the last complete novel to come from Robert Ludlum and is the story of a man on the run throughout Europe, haven't we seen that already on film? Well, not really. The young man is a banker and he tries to expose the fact that a secret organisation is controlling the world markets – if there is they are doing a terrible job right now – and has to go on the run after he becomes targeted by assassins. Here's the blurb from Amazon:
“After his twin brother dies in a plane crash, Ben Hartman reluctantly takes his place in the investment firm started by their father, a Holocaust survivor. But then an old college buddy tries to kill Ben on a crowded Zurich street, setting off a chain of events that ultimately leads Ben into the thick of a worldwide conspiracy. Behind it is Sigma, a multinational cartel built on the rubble of World War II by industrialists and financiers bent on exploiting wartime technology and protecting their wealth from the threat of communism.
Accompanied by a beautiful American justice department agent, Ben eludes the assassins on his trail and follows Sigma's tentacles across Europe, to Brazil, Washington and finally to a sanitarium known as the Clockworks in the Austrian Alps, where the horrifying agenda of a perverted new world order is revealed.”
While other films have picked things from the story, and the Bourne Trilogy sounds like it could have covered a lot of this ground already, in the hands of José Padilha I really do think we could have something rather special.