Discuss: Mack Bolan/The Executioner Book series, etc.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:58 AM   #1
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Default Discuss: Mack Bolan/The Executioner Book series, etc.

This came up on a movie gun thread in the General Handgun discussion, and I thought we might want to expand the topic without taking the other thread off-track.

JD and I were lamenting that there has never been a Mack Bolan movie. For those of familiar with the series, what actor would make a good Mack Bolan? Also, which part of the Bolan series would make into a movie; focus on the War Against the Mafia, Stony Man Anti-Terrorism, etc etc?

For those of you who aren't familiar, check out http://www.mackbolan.com.

Here is cover art from one of the recent books to help spark the conversation:

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Old 01-03-2009, 05:15 PM   #2
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This should spark some debate... LOL

I have the whole series from book 1 up through, probably, somewhere in the 150 or 160's, along with the first 20 or 30 of both Phoenix Force and Able Team. Someday I will put them on Ebay and make a fortune.. LOL

Don Pendleton only wrote the first 36 I believe, which was basically the War against the Mob, then he sold the rights and there have been hundreds of writers that have collaborated on the series since then.

In the early books, Bolan was all about tearing apart the mob. He came home from Vietnam on Emergency leave to found his sister, I believe, had been hooked on drugs, died and his parents had been killed, I beleive, trying to "get justice" through the system.

Later on he took on a personna of a Mafia hitman, I can't remember the name he used, but it was pretty cool. He killed a hitman, assumed his identity and it was something that carried over from novel to novel with the placement of a Black Ace of Spades playing card at the scene of a hit. That was always one of my favorite story lines, especially early on.

As for the movie rights - there is some CRAZY legal battles in getting it to the screen. Don Pendleton still owns the rights to Mack Bolan, which is why he still has his name on all the books. Gold Eagle, and another company, hold the rights to several other aspects of the story line - so getting everyone to agree to a deal has obviously been difficult.

The same thing happened with Dirk Pitt and the Sahara movie that came out a few years ago. The legal battles of that getting to the screen were almost epic by Hollywood standards and the author of the original series ended up suing the studio because he was supposed to have final say over the script, which the studio ended up scrapping and going with a re-write. Messy stuff.

As for Bolan on screen - I don't think there is anyone in Hollywood right now that I can think of who can pull him off without a lot of work.

Bolan was 6'-2" or 6'-4", depending on which book you were reading, and he was always around 240 pounds. Dark hair with the always mentioned Steely Blue Eyed gaze. There isn't anybody in Hollywood who is a decent actor who is that size. Plus, he was already in his late 20's, or early 30's, when he started his war in the first place.

The newest, hottest actor on the block isn't going to look the part. Eric Bana maybe, because he's a decent sized dude, but his acting chops aren't top rate, & he has the whole accent thing to get around.

The best getting into character role I have seen done, off the top of my head, was when Kurt Russell did a complete body make over for "Soldier" which was a flop at the box office, but was a decent movie in my opinion. Instead of making himself into this striped and shredded character, he made himself into a soldier at the end of his career, still hard, but he didn't look like Brad Pitt in Troy either. I thought he did really well in selling a soldier who's best years had past him by.

In addition, the actor would have to be WELL VERSED with firearms, not this type of crap we have been given lately with TV series like Flashpoint. ( A Sniper having "The Solution" with his bolt handle up and the worst spot weld in the history of sniping ). *shaking head and giving the finger*

Whoever did the firearms training for The Way of the Gun or Mr. & Mrs. Smithh would be good to have for a six week training camp.

The only person that I would vote for is Keri Russell, with red hair and hair extensions, to play April Rose. Russell looked great in the 4 minutes of screen time she got in MI3 and she is a little cutie.

I always saw either James Caan or Gene Hackman playing Hal Brognola.

EDIT: Andrzej Konzaki - Bolan's Weapon Expert and Gunsmith, would obviously have to be played by me.

JD

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Old 01-03-2009, 09:13 PM   #3
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Aaron "The Bear" Kurtzman - Bolan's Weapon Spe******t and Gunsmith, would obviously have to be played by me.

JD
actually kurtzman is the computer genuis who becomes disabled by a round during the raid on the "farm"
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:23 PM   #4
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I don't think that I've ever read a Mack Bolan book. But I have read all of the Phoenix Force books. They stopped writing them @ book 51 I think.
Then I started reading the Stony Man books. I picked up book 2 first & after some leg work, (no internet back then,) I found the first book at a used book store. I have every one of the Stony Man series up to 62 or 63. I kind of got tired of reading them. Now they're approaching 100 books in that series. I saw book 96 yesterday.
JD, I agree....Gene Hackman would probably be a good Hal Brognola. Now, I don't know about the Mack Bolan books but, in the Pheonix Force & Stony Man books Arron "The Bear" Kurtzman was the farm's cyber tech head man. I think the weapons tech was the man they called "Cowboy." Jack Grimaldi was their flying ace at the farm.
As far as who should play whom.....I don't really have an opinion on that, but, I agree they should have some resemblance to the descriptions in the books. And be realistic.

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Old 01-03-2009, 09:40 PM   #5
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actually kurtzman is the computer genuis who becomes disabled by a round during the raid on the "farm"
You are correct - I was thinking of Andrzej Konzaki. I think he gets killed off later on, but I am definitely casting myself as Andrzej... LOL

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Old 01-04-2009, 02:40 AM   #6
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Okay, so I have spent the day doing a casting call with my fiancee'. We both LOVE movies and love to try and put the best actors together for roles - yeah, we're movie geeks.

So, originally I was thinking it would be hard to find someone in Hollywood with acting chops who was also big enough to pull off the role of Bolan. However, upon review...

Clive Owen. The guy can do a no accent character and he can definitely act. He has had some basic weapons training in Shoot Em Up, so he's on the short list.

Gerard Butler. The guy has proven he can transform himself into Lyonidas for 300, but he was ripped and shredded in a supporting role for Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life and was good with a weapon. He is on the way up in Hollywood, so his price is going to be more than a basic budget is going to allow.

Viggo Mortensen. Is there anything this guy can't do? Amazing actor who throws himself into his rolls and always turns in a great performance. Definitely going to cost some money on the salary scale...

April Rose: Who was probably the reason for my interests in redheads who can handle a weapon.

So, my finacee' crapped all over my Keri Russell idea because she can't pull off red hair like April Rose because of her skin tone. As I spend a generous portion of my salary in gift certificates so she can get her hair done at an uber salon, I have to side with her. She has, and knows, great hair.

So, for April Rose, we have a couple suggestions.

Nicole Steinwedell. She recently did a 9 episode engagement on The Unit as Red Cap. She's an uber hottie and can handle a weapon. She has the skin tone to pull off a true deep redhead like April & she can act, which is a plus.


Rose McGowan. I am against this choice, but I have been told if I expect to get any this weekend, I need to consider her for the role. She proved she can handle a weapon, sort of, in Grindhouse, and she is definitely a hottie. Pulling off the dark red of April shouldn't be a problem, and she could definitely sell some tickets if we put a topless scene in some point.

I still don't have a better choice than James Caan or Gene Hackman for Hal - so I am open to suggestions if you have an alternative...

That's what we got so far.... what do you guys think?

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Old 01-04-2009, 09:41 PM   #7
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I like This Guy for our weapons master on set.

What say you Bolan fans - you are somewhat silent in this pursuit....

JD

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Old 01-05-2009, 10:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
Okay, so I have spent the day doing a casting call with my fiancee'. We both LOVE movies and love to try and put the best actors together for roles - yeah, we're movie geeks.

So, originally I was thinking it would be hard to find someone in Hollywood with acting chops who was also big enough to pull off the role of Bolan. However, upon review...

Clive Owen and Gerard Butler.
Both excellent choices that I hadn't considered. Would be interesting to see some of these actors screen test a part like this and see if they could really bring it. I keep thinking about Clive Owen during Inside Man, and his early BMW commercials. This might be the choice, as long as he they can do something about his tight curly hair.

Quote:
Viggo Mortensen. Is there anything this guy can't do? Amazing actor who throws himself into his rolls and always turns in a great performance. Definitely going to cost some money on the salary scale...
At first I didn't like this choice, because I thought he might seem to skinny, and his looks are a bit unique. But I think about his character in the first Lord of the Rings movie, and maybe he could pull it off.

Quote:
April Rose: Who was probably the reason for my interests in redheads who can handle a weapon.

So, my finacee' crapped all over my Keri Russell idea because she can't pull off red hair like April Rose because of her skin tone.

Nicole Steinwedell. She recently did a 9-episode engagement on The Unit as Red Cap.

Rose McGowan. I am against this choice, but I have been told if I expect to get any this weekend, I need to consider her for the role.
The Nicole Steinwedell is an excellent choice, especially if it was an early Bolan story since she is fairly young. I agree with JD about Rose McGowan, I think she comes off a little light to play a serious warrior type character.

How about Julianne Moore?


Quote:
I still don't have a better choice than James Caan or Gene Hackman for Hal - so I am open to suggestions if you have an alternative...
I keep thinking about The Way of the Gun since you mentioned Caan. Also maybe Robert Duvall...

but this sure does look like Hal Brognola, doesn't it?



I'll have to think on tihs some more...
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:05 PM   #9
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Oh Julianne Moore! How could I forget her? *drools* Yeah, she would fit the bill nicely....

How about Salma Hayek for the role of Val Querente??

JD

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Old 01-08-2009, 10:14 AM   #10
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Nice choice...Rosario Dawson, Michelle Rodriquez, and Eva Mendes might also make nice choice. Not sure about Eva Mendes for this type of role though...

If you were the weapons-prop guy, what would you have Bolan carry? I suppose we need to keep with the machine pistol + hand cannon combo that is classic Bolan. The purist in me says give him a 93R and an Auto Mag. The fans will get it, and everyone else will just see cool guns.

What other choices? Glock 18 might be cool, but it has been used a lot in recent movies and isn't nearly as distinct looking as the 93R.

The Desert Eagle is arguably THE big bore semi-auto handgun, but if the Glock 18 has been over-exposed a lot lately, the Desert Eagle is the Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton (all rolled into one) of movie handguns. But other than the Desert Eagle, and the original Auto Mag, I'm not sure there is a distinctive magnum semi-auto that would work (I don't include the Wildey because you might as well stay true to the books).

I have not read many of the books after about #100, so I'm not sure what rides as Mack's standard issue anymore. For me I keep coming back to the pairing of the 93R and the Auto Mag. I also like the idea of a 5-inch 1911, but afraid it might seem a little too "Punisher".

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