Welcome!

News Feed Item

Mack Bolan Book Series, With 200+ Million Copies In Print Worldwide, Now Launching As Film Franchise

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mack Bolan, the global bestselling action-adventure book series created by Don Pendleton which has more than 200 million copies in print, is headed to the screen.  Screenwriter-producer Shane Salerno has closed a multi-party rights deal with Pendleton's widow, Linda Pendleton, his six children, Marjorie Pendleton, and a separate deal with Gold Eagle books to adapt the groundbreaking 700-volume series into a film universe. 

Mack Bolan 1984 paperback book cover

First published in 1969, the series has been associated with such major stars as Steve McQueen, Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Vin Diesel and several Oscar-winning filmmakers, but no film has ever been made. 

Salerno, who plans to tackle the film series after finishing co-writing Avatar 4 with James Cameron, said the goal is to make a "relevant, grounded and gritty, real-world PG-13 action drama film series." Salerno will begin meeting with filmmakers and actors shortly.

While there have been different Bolan incarnations over the past half-century, the current and most popular features Mack Bolan as an elite anti-terrorist operator, answerable only to the White House, who handles missions beyond the capability of the CIA.  Salerno said this arena is the "starting point" for the new film series.

Linda Pendleton states:  "The Pendleton family is pleased to have Shane Salerno set to bring Don Pendleton's 'Mack Bolan' character to film.  We know how mindful Shane is about maintaining the essence of Bolan, a true hero who has touched the minds of readers for decades.  We look forward to 'Mack Bolan' being shared to an even larger world audience through film."  

The Mack Bolan books exploded upon publication in 1969, with the first batch of novels quickly selling more than 25 million copies and spawning a new paperback genre of men's action-adventure novels.  The books became so successful that at one time Gold Eagle was selling an astonishing 24 Bolan and Bolan-related spinoff books each year.  Surprisingly, 30% of its readers were women

By 1980, the demand for Bolan books had reached a level Pendleton could no longer keep up with alone.  After writing 38 Bolan adventures in 11 years (1969-1980), he sold the rights to the series to Worldwide Library, stopped writing Bolan books, and began supervising a number of ghost writers in order to release at least two books per month, each of which reached a worldwide audience of 400,000 readers.   

Due to Bolan's passionate global fan-base, the publisher insisted that Don Pendleton's name was as valuable as the title itself.  An unprecedented deal was struck and Pendleton sold his name to Gold Eagle books, who paid him to 'franchise' his name across the series, as well as all of the spinoffs.  As a result, the jackets continued to carry his name as author, resulting in Pendleton being credited today with more than 700 books.  Remarkably, in 2014, Gold Eagle still publishes more than 12 Mack Bolan books per year in 40 countries.  Additionally, Mack Bolan has expanded to a bestselling series of comic books, audio books and graphic novels.  The New York Times reports there are more than 200 million Mack Bolan books in print. 

Salerno's complex, multi-party rights deal, which took more than a year to come together, gives him the rights to the first 38 books written by Pendleton, the more than 700 other books written in the 35 years since by Gold Eagle's army of ghost writers, as well as bestselling spinoff series Able Team, Phoenix Force, SuperBolan, and Stony Man.  Similar to superhero comic books, the various Mack Bolan book series cross over, with storylines beginning their lives in one series and resolving in another.      

The highly successful Mack Bolan: Stony Man series brings all of the characters together in an Avengers-like ensemble.  Stony Man is comprised of the most elite fighting commandos in the world, handpicked by Bolan from characters across hundreds of different books, who deploy across the globe to combat threats before they become disasters. 

"Don Pendleton created a very special character with Mack Bolan in 1969, which is why there are 200 million copies in print today," Salerno said.  "Tens of millions of readers around the world have wanted to see a Mack Bolan film for decades.  I'm committed to delivering a series of films with strong characters, real-world storylines, intense drama, and the truly remarkable action sequences for which the books have always been known."   

For over 40 years, Mack Bolan has had a long and fascinating Hollywood development history.  In 1972, producer Joseph Levine (The Graduate, A Bridge Too Far) first optioned the bestselling series and developed it for Steve McQueen.  Levine hired Richard Maibaum, co-writer of thirteen James Bond films including such classics as Goldfinger and Thunderball, to write the screenplay. Maibaum had also co-written Dr. No, Bond's first film appearance, and the plan was for him to introduce the world to Bolan as he had for Bond.  A script was completed and books in the series began to carry the tag "soon to be a major motion picture," but the rights lapsed before a film was made.

In early 1980s, at the height of his fame, Burt Reynolds announced that he would produce and direct a series of Mack Bolan films.  Clint Eastwood, coming off the techno-thriller Firefox, was envisioned for the role of Bolan.  The project jumped studios and the rights expired.         

In the late 1980s, following the massive global success of the Rocky and Rambo franchises, Sylvester Stallone announced that he had found his next film hero, Mack Bolan.  The film was set to be the first in Stallone's six-year, ten-pic pact with United Artists, with Stallone set to star and write, Joel Silver to produce, and Oscar winner William Friedkin to direct.  A two-page Variety ad was taken out by Carolco Pictures for the Cannes film festival, but the picture stalled in development and Stallone moved on to other films.  

After numerous attempts to bring Bolan to the screen (including a Vin Diesel version in 2001 right after the release of The Fast and The Furious), the Pendleton family began to decline advances from a number of major producers, directors, and actors.  In this instance, however, they were convinced by Salerno's "extraordinarily comprehensive plan" for creating a Mack Bolan film universe, consisting of a series of Bolan films and spinoffs, beginning with a trilogy.

Bolan has been imitated in countless books and comic books over the years, but never equaled.  The character has also inspired a number of other celebrated cinematic action heroes.  Shane Black has said in interviews that part of the inspiration for the Mel Gibson-Martin Riggs character he created in Lethal Weapon was based on Mack Bolan, which he read as a teenager.     

Don Pendleton, a much decorated veteran of World War II, wrote his first book when he was 33 and didn't turn to full-time writing until he was 40. He was stunned by the success of the Mack Bolan books, which captivated millions of readers around the world.  He passed away in 1995 at the age of 67.

The Pendleton family is represented by IPG and attorney Frank Curtis.  Salerno is represented by CAA and attorneys Robert Offer and Shelby Weiser.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140813/135963

SOURCE The Story Factory

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Data-as-a-Service is the complete package for the transformation of raw data into meaningful data assets and the delivery of those data assets. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lakshmi Randall, an industry expert, analyst and strategist, will address: What is DaaS (Data-as-a-Service)? Challenges addressed by DaaS Vendors that are enabling DaaS Architecture options for DaaS
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
The principles behind DevOps are not new - for decades people have been automating system administration and decreasing the time to deploy apps and perform other management tasks. However, only recently did we see the tools and the will necessary to share the benefits and power of automation with a wider circle of people. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at CloudBolt Software, explored the latest tools including Puppet, Chef, Docker, and CMPs needed to...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Advances in technology and ubiquitous connectivity have made the utilization of a dispersed workforce more common. Whether that remote team is located across the street or country, management styles/ approaches will have to be adjusted to accommodate this new dynamic. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., focused on the challenges of managing remote teams, providing real-world examples that demonstrate what works and what do...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...