Avatar writer Shane Salerno to script film based on The Executioner novels
What do Steve McQueen, Sly Stallone, Clint Eastwood and Vin Diesel have in common? Mack Bolan. You may not have heard of that name, but he is the fictional protagonist of one of the longest running fiction franchises of all time. Bolan is the central character in THE EXECUTIONER series of pulp novels created by Don Pendleton in 1969. The books are released monthly and continue to be penned by ghost writers. The series and it's numerous spin-offs total over 900 individual books. And, after almost 50 years, he is finally going to be the subject of a movie.
Deadline reports that SALINGER writer/director Shane Salerno will script and produce a film version of THE EXECUTIONER, a project all of those famous action stars have been unable to make happen. Salerno is currently writing AVATAR 4 with James Cameron but will then move on to THE EXECUTIONER.
Salerno's goal is to make a ôrelevant, grounded and gritty, real-world PG-13 action-drama film series" which he intends to package for a studio along with a director and star. So, in layman's terms, he is looking to make the next James Bond or Jason Bourne franchise. Unlike either of those series whose source characters had less than twenty original novels, having a character with almost a thousand stories ready to be adapted would make for an easy sell to a studio looking for a new franchise.
The question remains whether anyone would be interested in making this movie happen. Salerno has built credibility with SALINGER and his involvement with AVATAR 4, but a project like this really hinges on the star and director. Could this be a cool vehicle for someone like Sylvester Stallone or would it be better for a younger star to carry the series. Stay tuned for details as this develops.