Eric Bana is the Leading Contender to Play Ex-SAS Agent Nick Stone in ECHELON

     July 9, 2010

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With twelve novels already in print and a thirteenth on the way in October, there is plenty of source material to launch a Bond-like cinematic series centered around ex-SAS agent Nick Stone.  According to Pajiba, Hyde Park Entertainment believes that Eric Bana (Star Trek) just might be the man for the job.  The studio acquired the rights to the ongoing series back in March, and Bana is reportedly the leading contender to play the fictional spy in the first entry, entitled Echelon. More after the jump:

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I imagine that series author Andy McNab’s prior career in the SAS certainly adds a legitimacy to the action series.  No director has been hired yet, but in the right hands, this could definitely be the type of perpetual globetrotting franchise that any studio would love to have on hand.

Prior to any hypothetical appearance as Nick Stone, Bana will be seen teaching a young girl (Saoirse Ronan) in the tricks of the assassination trade in Joe Wright’s Hanna.  The Australian is also in talks to star opposite Colin Farrell in Up in the Air co-writer Sheldon Turner’s directorial debut By Virtue Fall.

Echelon will look to Firewall, the third novel in the Nick Stone series, for inspiration.  Here’s a synopsis via Amazon:

Nick Stone is on the run after ‘lifting’ one of the heads of what the intelligence services call ROC (Russian Organized Crime). A group of City investors is unhappy wtih the way the warlord’s activities have manipulated the markets, and they want him taken to St Petersburg for disposal.

Back in London, Stone is given the chance to earn enough money never to have to do this sort of work again. Officials believe that Russia has embarked upon a concerted espionage offensive and has stolen some of the West’s most sensitive military secrets. When Stone goes back to Finland, however, and from there into the former Soviet republic of Estonia, he finds himself caught between implacable opposing forces — to whom he is nothing more than a pawn in a much bigger game.

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