The king of conspiracy rumors himself, Tom Cruise, is confirmed to partner with Denzel Washington in MGM‘s The Matarese Circle, a thriller in which the two stars play spies teaming up against a global conspiracy (Sorry folks, not referring to Scientology here, although that would be some truly ironic casting).

David Cronenberg directs this adaptation of the 1979 novel by Robert Ludlum‘s (who also wrote “The Bourne Identity” series) with a purported contemporary twist on the author’s original Cold War setting. Cruise and Washington are cast as two prideful spies who spend decades as archenemies trying to kill each other and ultimately team up against the Matarese, a conspiracy group behind global instability [Variety].

Sounds like a riveting thriller, but get ready to cringe, there might already be a sequel in the works…

The $3 million deal for Ludlum’s title also gave MGM rights to adapt the author’s follow-up, “The Matarese Countdown,” which means that the studio will likely try to get every penny they can by extending the Cruise-Washington partnership.

Most of us know that making sequels can be like squeezing a dry lemon for more juice, but I’ll have to see how the first flick turns out before I officially start throwing punches .

The Matarese Circle will likely start production later this year for a 2010 release.

What do you think of the “Matarese” series translating to the big screen? Would Cronenberg be pushing it with a sequel?