Mack Bolan books were my go-to read during my early teens. At 130 pages or so, The Executioner novels were a breezy bit of escapism full of everything a growing boy needs -- guns, guns and more guns.
Author Don Pendleton wrote the first Bolan book, War Against the Mafia in 1969. Since then, Hollywood has tried and failed to bring the character to the big screen despite attracting heavy hitters like Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood and, more recently, Vin Diesel.
Sounds like that's about to change, as Warner Bros has lined up Savages screenwriter Shane Salerno to write Mack Bolan script for star Bradley Cooper. Yup, Bradley Cooper.
Although not my first choice, Cooper has proven himself as a decent actor over the years. And I never figured Matt Damon for an action hero until The Bourne Identity came along. What worries me -- well, not really. But I kinda gotta say things like this -- is the fact Warner is going for a gritty, PG-13 action/drama.
The action/drama is fine. But The Executioner novels are called The Executioner for a reason. There's a whole lot of killing going on. An 80s, hard-R approach would be ideal. But this isn't the 80s, and hard R is a hard sell these days.
Oh, and Todd Phillips is set to direct. Yeah, the guy who made The Hangover movies. But hey, anything is possible.
No word yet on when cameras are set to roll.