Universal has inked Tony Gilroy to pen “The Bourne Ultimatum” in a deal believed to be worth just north of $2 million.
Pact is the first step in getting the third installment of U’s successful spy franchise off the ground.
“Ultimatum” is the third Robert Ludlum adaptation for Gilroy after 2002’s “The Bourne Identity” and last year’s “The Bourne Supremacy.” But both pics have been loose adaptations, picking up Ludlum’s creation of a master assassin who has lost his memory.
Matt Damon has publicly expressed interest in reprising his role as Jason Bourne, but no deal is expected until after Gilroy’s script comes back in.
Likewise, studio is holding off discussions on who’ll direct. “Identity” was helmed by Doug Liman, while Paul Greengrass directed last year’s “Supremacy.”
The two previous “Bourne” pics have together grossed more than $500 million worldwide and been big earners on DVD, selling 15 million homevid units.
Producing “Ultimatum” are Kennedy/Marshall Co.’s Frank Marshall, Pat Crowley and Ludlum Entertainment’s Paul Sandberg. Exec producers are Jeffrey Weiner, Henry Morrison and Liman.
Overseeing “Ultimatum” for U are production prexy Donna Langley and veep Jeff Kirschenbaum.
Gilroy’s other writing credits include “Armageddon,” “Proof of Life” and “The Devil’s Advocate.” He is writing “Michael Clayton” for Section Eight and “Read My Lips” for Paramount.