Empire Online – 18 March 2010

Nick Stone Movie Is On The Way – Echelon is based on Andy McNab’s novels

Move over, Jason Bourne – there’s a new movie spy in town, and his name is Nick Stone.

Stone, in case you didn’t know, is the hero of the long-running series of novels by ex-SAS hardnut and Heat shoot-out co-ordinator, Andy McNab. In the ultimate example of ‘write-what-you-know’, Stone is also an ex-SAS hardnut, constantly getting mixed up in all sorts of political intrigue that warrant solving with extreme violence.

So far the Stone series has stretched to twelve books, the rights to which have just been snapped up by Hyde Park and casting director-turned-producer, Bonnie Timmerman. Timmerman first bought the rights in the mid-90s, sold them to Harvey Weinstein in 2001, and has now got them back again after they were allowed to lapse.

The first Stone movie in the works is an adaptation of the third novel, Firewall, which will be renamed Echelon for the silver screen (presumably to avoid people confusing it with the Harrison Ford clunker of the same name). And yes, they’re talking franchise…

Firew – sorry, Echelon will see Stone team up with a female cryptographer (shades of Dan Brown) to infiltrate a computer facility that could jeopardise global security. Action! Intrigue! Hot ladies! It’s got it all.

The script has been written by McNab himself and a fellow called John Connor who, with a name like that, was simply born to write action movies. Ashok Amritraj, head of Hyde Park, will produce along with Timmerman.

Sounds like it could be promising, although we won’t be happy until Jack Reacher has stomped, punched and grimaced his way onto the big screen…
Chris Hewitt

Source: Empire Online