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Eric Bana may be SAS badass Nick Stone in Echelon

07.10.2010

Jason Bourne is on ice, Jack Ryan is in no rush to return, and James Bond is sitting forlorn with empty pockets. Can any actor and franchise fill the action-espionage void?

How would you feel about Eric Bana as former British Special Air Service soldier Nick Stone?

The character has appeared in a dozen books by Andy McNab (an actual ex-SAS member himself), but Pajiba says the first movie will be based on the book "Firewall" and renamed ECHELON to avoid confusion with hacking and crummy Harrison Ford movies. No director is currently attached to the project, but we already know Bana is fully capable of asskicking.

The book's rundown (via Amazon): Nick Stone is off the Firm's regular payroll owing to a major screwup in his last assignment that left his best friend's family slaughtered--except for the one child who survived. Little Kelly needs expensive treatment for the post-traumatic stress that's turned her nearly catatonic, so Nick takes on a freelance assignment that gets him mixed up with Russian organized crime--in particular, with an enigmatic mob boss who has designs on some Finnish cybertechnology. When Nick realizes it's not industrial espionage that he's involved with but military secrets, he's caught between warring factions of the Russian Mafia and the Anglo-American alliance of intelligence agencies. The Westerners will do anything to keep the Echelon program out of the hands of Valentin Lebed--the Chechnyan Mafioso who makes Nick an offer he can't refuse--and the Maliskia, a gang of rival Russian criminals who want to derail Lebed's plans and take over Echelon themselves.

Extra Tidbit: McNab served in the Gulf War and endured torture by Iraqis, which may have helped prepare him for Hollywood. Possibly.
Source: Pajiba

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