Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
The Perfect Night In
Great Movies From Warner Bros.
Create A Short Film
With the BFI & O2
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Empire Podcast 177: Ron Perlman, Tom Hardy and Brian Helgeland
We won't lie, things get pretty Kray Kray
Ron Perlman Talks Hellboy III
Exclusive: 'He has to take down civilisation...'
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys Offer New Clues To The Film
And Kylo Ren talks at last...
Straight Outta Compton Sequel To Focus On Death Row Records
Producer L. Leigh Savidge adapting his documentary
Andrea Riseborough Signs Up For Bloodline
Joining John Leguizamo as another new cast regular
Selena Gomez Set For Bad Neighbours 2
Playing Chloe Grace Moretz's sorority rival
Stephen Rider Joins Daredevil Season 2
Playing District Attorney Blake Tower
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
18 August 2015
Laura Linney Joins Clint Eastwood's Sully
She'll play the heroic pilot's wife
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
American Sniper (2015)
Empire Star Rating
The Expendables 3 (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Jersey Boys (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Grudge Match (2014)
Empire Star Rating
12 Years A Slave (2014)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Avatar Writer Targets Mack Bolan
Shane Salerno takes a shot at another franchise

13 August 2014  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: Deadline

submit to reddit

Avatar Writer Targets Mack Bolan

Any number of potential movie properties have spent years in Development Hell, but few can match the tortuous journey of Mack Bolan to the screen. The star of an incredible 900-odd pulp novels that are still being published at the rate of a dozen a year, action super-agent Bolan has so far defeated everyone who's tried to build a movie around him. Now, 45 years after Bolan's print debut, Avatar 4 writer Shane Salerno has stepped up for one more try, after making a deal with original author Don Pendleton's estate.

Pendleton wrote the first Bolan novel, War Against The Mafia, in 1969, intorducing the Vietnam vet Green Beret in a story that saw him taking personal revenge on mob loan sharks after the murder of his family. The author went on to write a further 36 Bolan adventures himself, under the umbrella title The Executioner, before selling the rights to publisher Worldwide Library and supervising an army of ghost writers until his death in 1995. The series currently has a home with Gold Eagle, and includes multiple spin-offs based around the elite commandos of Bolan's secret anti-terrorist organisation Stony Man.

Producer Joseph Levine hired James Bond screenwriter Richard Maibaum to write a Bolan movie as a vehicle for Steve McQueen in 1972, to no result. Burt Reynolds tried to launch a series in the 1980s, intending to produce and direct while his buddy Clint Eastwood starred, but that didn't work either. Later, Sylvester Stallone wrote his own screenplay, intending to star with William Friedkin directing. Still nothing. And most recently, Vin Diesel was developing the property in the early 2000s, but again it stalled and the rights lapsed.

The Pendleton estate had, by all accounts, completely written off any thoughts of films after that, but Salerno (Armageddon, Shaft, Salinger, Oliver Stone's Savages) is clearly persuasive and has now been given carte blanche with Pendleton's own novels and all the subsequent instalments, including the team-based spin-offs that he views as "Bolan's Avengers". 

"We know how mindful Shane is about maintaining the essence of Bolan, a true hero who has touched the minds of readers for decades,” said the author’s widow, Linda Pendleton. “We look forward to Mack Bolan being shared with an even larger world audience through film.”

While the character may seem in origin like more of a Punisher type, the angle here is something of an American James Bond. Salerno says he envisages a "relevant, grounded and gritty, real-world PG-13 action-drama film series". He plans to put a package together with a director and star before taking the project to studios and launching with a trilogy. 


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Jackie Chan Empire Podcast Special
40 minutes with the living legend
Lauren Bacall 1924-2014
Screen legend dies aged 89


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire Meets The Stars Of Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
On the Sundance smash, bedroom posters and Nick Offerman

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Wes Craven: Film By Film
Empire celebrates the late, great horror director

My Movie Life: Andrew Haigh
The 45 Years director on the movies that made him

Vanity Projects: The Musical Edition
A dozen more hits and misses from the rock and pop world

Inside The Martian: Empire Meets NASA
Prepare to science the shit out of it...

Deadpool: A Complete History
Empire's guide to The Merc With A Mouth, in comics and on screen

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)