Bana eyes Andy McNab’s Nick Stone.

Earlier this year, I mentioned that Hyde Park Entertainment had acquired the film rights to Andy McNab’s 12 Nick Stone novels.

Pajibi is reporting that Eric Bana (MUNICH, TROY) is the front-runner to play ex-SAS officer turned intelligence agent Nick Stone in ECHELON, a planned film based FIREWALL (3rd novel in the series).

The Russians were serious players. If things didn’t go as planned, Sergei said, I’d be lucky to be shot dead in the hotel lobby. If they captured me, I’d be taken to some remote bit of wasteland and have my stomach slit open. They’d pull my lungs out and then leave me to watch them flop around on my chest like a couple of freshly caught mullet for the thirty minutes it would take me to die. These things happen, he had explained, when you mess with the main men in Russian Organized Crime. But I didn’t have a choice…’ Helsinki, December 1999. Nick Stone, ex-SAS, now a ‘K’ working for British Intelligence on deniable operations, is tough, resourceful, ruthless, highly trained – and desperately in need of cash… Offered the lucrative freelance job of kidnapping a mafia warlord and delivering him to St Petersburg, it seems to Stone that his problems are over. In fact, they are only just beginning. Stone enters the bleak underworld of the former Soviet republic of Estonia, where unknown aggressors stalk the bitter landscape, and he soon finds himself caught between implacable enemies. For Russia has embarked upon a concerted cyber-espionage offensive, hacking into some of the West’s most sensitive military secrets. American and British intelligence agencies are determined to thwart them. And the mafia are waiting in the wings with their own chillingly brutal solution…

The only film I have seen Bana in was MUNICH (I am not counting his baddie role in STAR TREK) and thought he did a bang-up job. This could be a the kind of role that helps Bana break through and become, in Hollywood’s eyes, a bankable leading man. He has the physcial presence to be believable as a British bad-ass.

There are no set production plans at this time, a screenplay is in place but no director has been hired.