2010
24.03

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

2010
24.03

To be sceptical.. or hopefull??  Starting in 2001 this news has reached us in numerous variations.  For a long time Crisis Four was the one to be adapted into a movie. Then, in 2005 Andy himself said in an exclusive interview with Grey Man’s Land:  “The one thing I’ve learnt about Hollywood is that there has to be a lot of meetings before anyone can even decide if they want sugar in their coffee.”

BUT.. things really seem to be happening for real now. ‘Echelon’ – based on Firewall. We’re going to be hopefull!

Variety
March 17, 2010
By Tatiana Siegel

Hyde Park buys Nick Stone rights – Production company targets Andy McNab book series as franchise

Hyde Park has acquired the rights to Brit author Andy McNab’s Nick Stone espionage novels and is eyeing the series as a potential franchise.
The first pic will be “Echelon,” which is based on McNab’s novel “Firewall” and is the third of 12 books in the series. “Echelon” will mark the first pic to be financed under the Hyde Park/Imagenation pact; the two companies recently partnered on a $250 million deal to develop, produce and distribute up to 20 films over seven years.

Veteran casting agent Bonnie Timmerman, who acquired the rights to the series in mid-1990s, is producing alongside Hyde Park topper Ashok Amritraj. Timmerman, whose producing credits include the Nicole Kidman starrer “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus,” sold the rights to the novels in July 2001 to Harvey Weinstein, who tried for years to get a Nick Stone project off the ground, but spy pics turned cold in a post-9/11 world and Weinstein eventually let the rights lapse.

In “Echelon,” soldier of fortune Nick Stone, paired with a street-smart female cryptographer, is hired to infiltrate a computer facility poised to breach a secret global surveillance system.

McNab and John Connor, who together penned the script, are exec producing along with Imagenation’s Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei and Edward Borgerding. Imagenation’s Stefan Brunner will serve as associate producer. Hyde Park’s Patrick Aiello is shepherding the pic.

“I’ve been a fan of the Nick Stone stories for years, as they are a rich and unique source for a contemporary action-thriller,” said Amritraj, who likened the series to Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne novels.

Source: Variety

2009
05.03

From the moment (in 2001!) we learned that the Nick Stone novels might be hitting the screen there’s been a lot of speculation who would be playing ‘our hero’ Nick Stone. I won’t (can’t) repeat them all here but I do know of all names Jason Statham came up most often, closely followed by Sean Bean. We can add a new name to the list and it seems things are in motion!

Tom Hardy Nick StoneIn the TimesOnline an interview today with Tom Hardy. Quoting: “This career is like running in the Olympics,” he says, summing up and readying himself for his next meeting, with the SAS legend Andy McNab (who is in town to talk to Hardy about playing him in a series of movies). “It’s built on skill, determination, hard work and good luck.”

As I can’t imagine there will be a series of movies about Andy (now THAT would be some news!!), I have to assume they mean Nick Stone. Anyone who knows different please let us know! I’m positive there are a number of candidates, AND a number of people who will want to have a say in the final choice so we’ll see what happens. But like I said, after all this time there might actually be a movie! And Tom Hardy…. not bad at all! 😉

Click here to read the TimesOnline interiew with Tom Hardy