Yesterday former 10x World Champion (8x WWE, 2x WCW) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made the announcement via his Instagram account that his production company, Seven Bucks Productions, would be producing a major Hollywood film adaption of the Robert Ludlum spy novel, The Janson Directive, and that the leading man for the film would be none other than WWE Superstar John Cena.
Found my star! Congrats to my good bud John Cena on landing the lead role for our movie, THE JANSON DIRECTIVE. A project that myself, @sevenbucksprod, our production partners and Universal Studios have been developing for years now. Congrats man and I’m excited to go on this journey with you. Thank you for your commitment to the role and remember, as your producer if you screw up, I’m coming to set and droppin’ the People’s Elbow on ya. And you know first hand how devastating my elbow drops can be 😉💪🏾 Congrats my friend and let’s go make a good one. #JansonDirective #JohnCena #SevenBucksProds #CaptivateEnt #WeedRoadPics #MythologyEnt #UNIVERSAL
Published posthumously in 2002 (Ludlum passed away in 2001 at the age of 73), The Janson Directive is a spy thriller revolving around a former Navy SEAL named Paul Janson, the character that Cena will be portraying. Ludlum was one of the world’s leading spy thriller authors, most famous for creating the Jason Bourne series, which were adapted into the series of films, The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), The Bourne Legacy (2012) and Jason Bourne (2016). Other film adaptations of his work include 1983’s The Osterman Weekend and an upcoming adaptation of his 1977 novel The Chancellor Manuscript, that has Leonardo DiCaprio attached as producer and star.
The plot for The Janson Directive (via Wikipedia) is as follows:
Paul Janson is an ex-Navy SEAL and former member of a U.S. government covert agency called Consular Operations. He is haunted by his memories of the Vietnam War and his brilliant commander and mentor, Alan Demarest. Unfortunately, Demarest was also a sadistic psychopath who loved to toy with the lives of both friend and foe; he arranged for Janson to be captured and tortured by the Viet Cong. Janson eventually escaped and provided evidence of war crimes, which led to Demarest’s execution.
Janson now makes his living as a corporate security consultant who is so much in demand that he can pick and choose which jobs he takes. After a mysterious woman makes contact with him while Janson is waiting for a plane, he finds himself taking on a job to repay a debt. She asks Janson to rescue her boss, the Nobel Peace Laureate visionary and billionaire, Peter Novak, who has been taken hostage by a militant organization which intends to kill him.
But when the rescue goes horribly wrong, Janson finds himself the target of a “beyond salvage” termination directive (the directive of the title) issued from the highest levels of the U.S. government. Meanwhile, several senior U.S. government officials are assassinated. Janson is then faced with the difficult question of finding out who wanted to frame him for Novak’s death, while dodging bullets from his former comrades at Consular Operations.
Janson takes matters into his own hands as he tries to save himself and solve the mystery of a decades-old conspiracy that will rock the foundations of all countries in the world if exposed.
The role will continue John Cena’s recent string of major Hollywood films after a series of direct to video films (most through WWE Studios), such as Trainwreck, Daddy’s Home, Sisters and The Wall. His stock in Hollywood has seen a considerable rise in the past year thanks to his voice work in the smash animated feature Ferdinand and his current role in the hit comedy Blockers. His next film is the Transformers spin-off Bumblebee that is currently in post-production, as well as the recent announcement he’ll be portraying the title character in the upcoming film adaptation of the 90’s cult classic video game Duke Nukem.
Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions has also been taking a bigger role in Dwayne Johnson’s films of late, after starting out with his earlier films like 2013’s Snitch. They’ve gone on to produce (or co-produce) such films as Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Rampage and Baywatch, as well as Johnson’s HBO show Ballers, and have upcoming projects like Fighting With My Family (the Paige biopic), San Andreas 2, Jumanji 2, Black Adam, and the Fast & Furious spinoff, Hobbes & Shaw.