April 7, 2008–Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures with Relativity Media (RMLLC) have secured the rights to acclaimed author Robert Ludlums suspense thriller, “The Matarese Circle.” The parties have also closed a deal with two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington to star in the film adaptation of the best-selling novel with the same title. The announcement was made today by Mary Parent, Chairperson, Worldwide Motion Picture Group, MGM and Relativitys Ryan Kavanaugh.
A leading author of suspense and international intrigue, Ludlum is the best selling author of such spy fiction novels as the Jason Bourne series upon which the hugely successful Bourne film trilogy is based. The American author had written 21 thriller novels during his career. More than 210 million copies of his books have been printed. Ludlums novels have been translated into 32 languages.
Like many of Ludlum's other works, “The Matarese Circle” has all of the elements of a truly great film and possible franchise. Add Denzel Washington to this and we couldn't have hoped for a better announcement to kick off the ramping up of the studio's motion picture operation, said Parent.
Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, who wrote 3:10 to Yuma as well as the upcoming action film “Wanted,” are set to write. Jeffrey Weiner (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Supremacy), Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers) and Nick Wechsler (North Country) will serve as producers.
We have had a strong relationship with Mary and MGM and both companies were equally interested in acquiring this film,” said Kavanaugh. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with MGM on this project. Tucker Tooley will oversee creative for Relativity.
The Matarese Circle Novel Synopsis
Set during the Cold War, the book pairs rival spies, one from the CIA and the other from the KGB, who bury the hatchet for the moment because only they possess the smarts and killing abilities to go up against an international circle of killers called the Matarese.
About Relativity Media
Relativity Media, LLC is a financing, consulting and production company that utilizes both traditional and non-traditional channels in order to raise production and distribution funds, both for major studios and independent production entities. To date, Relativity has structured and consummated more than $4.5 billion in production slate financings. Relativitys most recent films include: such films as Atonement, Charlie Wilsons War, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, American Gangster, 3:10 to Yuma, The Pursuit of Happyness, Smokin' Aces, Catch and Release, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby starring Will Ferrell, RV starring Robin Williams, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the animated film Monster House and Inside Man. Other soon-to-be released films include: The Forbidden Kingdom, starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, The Bank Job, The Mighty Zohan and Hancock, starring Will Smith, Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron. Relativity also currently has a number of films in various stages of production, including the highly anticipated Brothers, directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, and Tobey Maguire. Other projects in various stages of development are Mary Queen of the Scots, starring Scarlett Johansson, The Contractors, Tunnels and Tom Clancy's Without Remorse.
About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., through its operating subsidiaries, is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music and licensed merchandise. The company owns the worlds largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., Ventanazul, MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Domestic Networks LLC, MGM Distribution Co, MGM International Television Distribution In, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Worldwide Digital Media, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching nearly 120 countries. MGM ownership is as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), TPG (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%). For more information, visit www.mgm.com.