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Jason Statham steps in for Eric Bana as SAS badass Nick Stone in Echelon

Feb. 10, 2011by: Dave Davis
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While it does seem sort of criminal that Eric Bana still doesn't have a badass action movie franchise of his own, Jason Statham clearly intends to collect as many potential recurring tough guy characters as possible.

The twice-CRANKed, thrice-TRANSPORTERed, likely to be re-EXPENDABLE star is eyeballing the espionage thriller ECHELON, which previously had Bana attached as former British Special Air Service soldier Nick Stone.

The Stone character has appeared in thirteen books written by actual ex-SAS member Andy McNab, and ECHELON will be based on the novel "Firewall" (renamed to avoid confusion with the Harrison Ford non-thriller). Stuntman/second unit director Simon Crane is making his feature debut behind the camera. Crane was previously expected to make his directing debut on the videogame adaptation KANE & LYNCH.

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: Now let's find a kickass franchise for Bana, huh?
Source: Deadline

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4:05PM on 02/11/2011
Oh well, at least Bana's kicking ass in Hana. But definitely an actor I'd like to see more of. Statham is good, but I miss the days when he could actually surprise me.
Oh well, at least Bana's kicking ass in Hana. But definitely an actor I'd like to see more of. Statham is good, but I miss the days when he could actually surprise me.
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+7
1:21PM on 02/11/2011

JASON STATHAM

loves doing movies where he gets to kick ass.

AND I

love to watch movies with him kicking ass.
loves doing movies where he gets to kick ass.

AND I

love to watch movies with him kicking ass.
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6:21AM on 02/11/2011
Maybe we can mix Bana into the race for the lead in The Dark Tower series. Watcha say?
Maybe we can mix Bana into the race for the lead in The Dark Tower series. Watcha say?
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3:55AM on 02/11/2011
I would have preferred Eric Bana. I like Statham, but he is everywhere from "Death race" to "crank" to "the mechanic" He should try something new.
I would have preferred Eric Bana. I like Statham, but he is everywhere from "Death race" to "crank" to "the mechanic" He should try something new.
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1:22PM on 02/11/2011
Something new? Fuck no. He's one of the very very few current action heroes, and by far the biggest.

Would you tell Arnie or Stallone to 'try something different' back in their heydays?
Something new? Fuck no. He's one of the very very few current action heroes, and by far the biggest.

Would you tell Arnie or Stallone to 'try something different' back in their heydays?
1:48AM on 02/11/2011
Yep, he's pretty much got the British bad-ass market cornered.
Yep, he's pretty much got the British bad-ass market cornered.
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12:36AM on 02/11/2011
These guys are two totally different types of actors. Not saying either one is better then the other because of that, definitely changes the dynamic of this flick/franchise
These guys are two totally different types of actors. Not saying either one is better then the other because of that, definitely changes the dynamic of this flick/franchise
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12:18AM on 02/11/2011
Statham rocks the house! I am down for this.
Statham rocks the house! I am down for this.
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11:27PM on 02/10/2011

Boing!

Dude I'm am so pumped for this. Originally I was hoping Colin Farrell was gonna get this, but this is so Statham. It's a bigger franchise I think he can carry. Plus now I have hopes CF will be the heir apparent to 007 one day.
Dude I'm am so pumped for this. Originally I was hoping Colin Farrell was gonna get this, but this is so Statham. It's a bigger franchise I think he can carry. Plus now I have hopes CF will be the heir apparent to 007 one day.
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