Once again, Hollywood is bound for another action packed franchise, thanks to the efforts of screenwriter Shane Salerno. The scribe who is currently working with director James Cameron on the forthcoming production of Avatar 4 has reportedly solidified a deal with Gold Eagle Books and the estate of late author Don Pendleton for feature film treatment of the classic novel series protagonist, Mack Bolan.
In the book series, Bolan is described as a highly-skilled weapons expert and elite sniper who served two tours in Vietnam as a Green Beret, whose 90-kill record earned him the nickname, The Executioner. When an Army chaplin informs him of the murder/suicide of his father, sister and attempted murder of his brother, he learns the truth and ultimately turns to vigilantism, waging a one-man war against the Mafia-a move that would ultimately put him back in the throes of the government. The long-running mens’ action hero franchise, which began its run in 1969 had been seeking feature film treatment for well over forty years with Pendleton, his family and several producers courting several actors, namely Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood, to Sylvester Stallone and Vin Diesel.
Pendleton, who himself was a decorated World War II veteran, wrote the first 38 volumes before selling it to Worldwide Library while overseeing its continuance with a group of ghost writers. There have been well up to 900 volumes published with 200 copies in circulation. The franchise remains popular in over 40 countries within several mediums, including comic books and audio books.
The deal grants Salerno rights to all hundreds of Pendleton’s work, including the ghost written novels and their spin-off counterparts. The project is currently seeking a director with plans to translate the character into a PG-13 action trilogy.
In the meantime, Salerno and writer/director James Cameron are expected to have the Avatar quadrilogy complete by 2018
Stay tuned for more updates!