If you went to a South American film festival last year, chances are the headlining picture was Elite Squad, a great Brazilian movie by Jose Padilha about Rio de Janiro’s Military Police Department’s anti-drug squad. It was good enough for the nice folks that give out Golden Bears in Berlin every year, and now it seems to be good enough for Universal, which has tapped Padilha to direct Sigma Protocol, based on Robert Ludlum’s novel.

The book was Ludlum’s final complete novel, and it has several of the author’s consistent features: international intrigue, a man on the run to and from same, conspiracies, and a title that sounds like a government accountant’s idea of exciting.

Padilha won’t be alone in trying to pound Ludlum’s last gasp into shape; he’s got Iron Man co-writers Matt Holloway and Art Marcum to pen the script. THR notes that Warner Brothers also has Padilha signed to direct The Willing Patriot and  Plan B has him for Marching Powder. Universal’s hard-on for Ludlum properties will leave me unsurprised if we see this before either of those.