Paramount Shoots for a James Bond of Their Own With ‘Alex Hawke’ Novels
Everybody wants James Bond, but there’s only one 007. Plenty of franchises have fashioned their own “rough-hewn, American” slant on Bond, with the likes of Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne both jumping from the pages of novels to the screen and meeting with great success. And yet none of these secret agents have achieved the ubiquity of MI6’s favorite son, and so the studios continue to launch new espionage franchises in the hope of scoring a similar 25-movie gold mine.
Deadline reports that Paramount’s latest effort to hop on the Sexy Spy bandwagon comes today in the form of the fictitious yet debonair Alex Hawke. The studio has purchased the rights to Ted Bell’s nine-book series of action novels about the globetrotting spy, with plans to adapt the first already in place. Salt screenwriter Kurt Wimmer will work on the script, and power player Lorenzo di Bonaventura will step in as producer to fast-track this to production.
The series began in 2003 with the simply titled Hawke, introducing our worldly hero and his sophisticated lifestyle, and will continue in 2018 with a tenth novel. The most recent installment Patriot pitted Hawke against the dastardly villain Vladimir Putin, a regular antagonist in the series. The novels’ willingness to engage with real-world despots an immediate departure from Bond and his rogues gallery of make-believe enemies. If all goes well on Hawke’s maiden voyage, we shall undoubtedly see him again in what will most likely be a long line of sequels. But until that day, all Paramount can do is shake-not-stir themselves a cold martini and pray viewers have space in their hearts for two suave English-bred agents.