Universal Pictures has tapped Irwin Winkler and Jose Ruisanchez to adapt the Robert Ludlum novel The Sigma Protocol.

The story centers on a man who gets plunged into a vast conspiracy when he sees an old friend murder six people, while on vacation in Switzerland. The man teams up with a female federal agent to try and offset the threat on his life. Here's what Irwin Winkler had to say about The Sigma Protocol, and how it differs from the Jason Bourne series, which was also created by Robert Ludlum.

"What we are really hoping to do is create a franchise, built around this ordinary guy who gets caught up in international intrigue, and who teams with this operative who is declared a rogue by the CIA. Unlike Bourne, who is a trained assassin, this is an innocent guy traveling in Europe who gets in way over his head. And it has all the great Ludlum intrigue."

Irwin Winkler will also produce The Sigma Protocol alongside Jeffrey M. Weiner and Ben Smith. No production schedule was given.