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
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Trailer For The New Point Break Arrives
Bodhi and the gang get bootylicious
Fox Now Plans Movie Reboot For The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
We're waiting to be impressed.
Richard Loncraine Begins Finding Your Feet
Directing the senior citizen rom-com
Marco Mäkilaakso Adapts It Came From The Desert
While Taneli Mustonen Heads For Bodom
RZA To Direct Azealia Banks In Coco
Common to co-star
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
13 May 2015
Sylvester Stallone Gears Up For CG 'Toon Ratchet & Clank
Paul Giamatti and more on for the PlayStation game adaptation
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
Podcast #162: Hugh Laurie
Is there a doctor in the house?

Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

Rick Baker: Creature By Creature
The make-up effects titan on his greatest creations

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
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)