Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
A perfect night in with EE
Win £200 to spend on the perfect night in
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
27 March 2015
First Spectre Teaser Trailer Arrives
And James Bond will return to IMAX
New Quicksilver And Scarlet Witch Avengers: Age Of Ultron TV Spot
Meet the twins
New Terminator Genisys TV Spot Lands
J.K. Simmons discovers that it's not quite his apocalypse
The First Look At Ryan Reynolds' New Deadpool Is Here
With great power comes great irresponsibility
Southpaw Trailer Hits
Punch, it Louis Bloom
Shrek To Return For Puss In Boots 2?
Antonio Banderas drops a heavy hint
Ralph Fiennes To Receive Empire Legend Award
At the 20th Jameson Empire Awards
Simon Pegg Discusses Star Trek 3
'It's weird to take ownership...'
Matthew McConaughey Attached to The Billionaire's Vinegar
About wine that is not alright alright alright
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Finds Force Majeure
She's in talks for a remake of the Swedish film
Podcast #154: Kenneth Branagh
A brave new world...
Antonio Banderas Empire Podcast Interview Special
Prepare yourself for one hell of a voice
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
06 March 2015
The Expendables Take Aim At TV
Sylvester Stallone is shepherding a spin-off show
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's Fast & Furious 7 Review
We run the rule on the return of Toretto, Hobbs and co

Empire Meets Alison Brie
The Get Hard star on Ken Jeong, Toto and her favourite episode of Community

17 ‘What The?’ TV Cameos From Film Directors
From Spike Jonze as a music exec to Peter Bogdanovich as… himself?

Empire Meets Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
On A Second Chance, Game Of Thrones pranks and Headhunters' poo scene

The Secrets Behind 44 Classic Cinema Sound Effects
No really, the Ringwraiths are actually plastic cups...

The 30 Greatest Superhero Movies Of All Time
Empire readers pick their top super flicks

10 Videos Every Tom Hanks Fan Should Have Watched By Now
Of course, everyone in the world is a Tom Hanks fan…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  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)