Here’s another action movie for you. Actor Dominic Cooper looks pretty good as pipe hitter John Stratton, an SBS (Special Boat Service) operative, who works alongside MI6 to prevent a terrorist attack in London.
Cooper was very good in the movie about Saddam Hussein’s psychopath of a son who had a double in the movie called The Devil’s Double. A very disturbing movie, indeed. The Devil’s Double is a 2011 Belgian-Dutch biographical film directed by Lee Tamahori, written by Michael Thomas, and starring Dominic Cooper in the dual role of Uday Hussein and Latif Yahia.
Now we get treated to a movie based on the book series of the character known as John Stratton by actual SBS commando Duncan Falconer and directed by Simon West (Conair). Duncan Falconer is the pseudonym of an author and former Special Boat Service commando. As a child, he was raised in an orphanage in North London before being adopted by a family from Battersea.
Falconer joined the British Royal Marines at the age of 18. At 19 years of age, he attended SBS selection in Poole Dorset and was one of nine Marines to successfully complete the course out of 147 men. Most candidates are required to serve some time in a Commando unit before applying, however Duncan was given an exception. Later he was posted to 42 Commando as a career broadening opportunity.
Falconer served the majority of his military service with the SBS. During his time in the military, he also served with the SAS, and 14 Intelligence Detachment, deployed to Northern Ireland with each for one year and two and a half years respectively. After he left the Detachment he took a sabbatical for a year before returning to the SBS where he was posted to MAT (“Maritime Anti-Terrorism”) operations in which he was involved in a number of exercises retaking oil rigs and tankers.
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After leaving the SBS Falconer spent two years working for a private security company.
Falconer had planned to move to Central America, to specialize in Kidnap & Ransom negotiation work, but, whilst in Los Angeles he wrote his first screenplay which he sold weeks later. As a result, Falconer chose to remain in LA for more than a decade whilst pursuing two careers – one as a screenplay writer, the other as a private security risk consultant. He also spent several years working as a bartender while writing screenplays and TV. While living in LA Falconer also wrote his autobiography.
After September 11 attacks Falconer returned to the UK and joined a private security company based in Hereford. There he worked as a hostile environment instructor and security consultant for journalists, operating in many countries including Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America.
His autobiography, and first literary publication, First into Action included accounts of the actions carried out by the SBS and 14 Intelligence Detachment. The tone of this work was in contrast to a number of biographies of other ex-special forces personnel at the time – the tales not just about the heroic actions of those he served alongside, but also showed the more humorous, realistic side of the troops. The book also highlighted the rivalry and antagonism between the Special Boat Service and Special Air Service and the history behind their conflict.
Such was the success of the book, Time Warner publishing contracted Falconer to write two military-based novels. The protagonist in these initial novels was John Stratton, created in the author’s image and sharing a similar career path within the military, as an SBS operative and operating with an Intelligence Detachment in Northern Ireland. The vast majority of his work to date has retained Stratton as the central character. In The Protector Falconer introduced a new central character, Bernie Mallory. Mallory again has been crafted in the image of his creator, this time as a former Royal Marine turned private security contractor.
Falconer moved to South Africa, then Dubai where he consulted on ‘fuel and food’ convoy moves across Afghanistan. Falconer moved back to Europe and also South Africa where he is a maritime and crisis management consultant for a UK-based security company.
Background: On 3 November 2014, it was announced that Henry Cavill would next star in the action thriller film Stratton, to be produced by his own banner Promethean Productions, Amber Entertainment, and GFM Films. It would be based on the Duncan Falconer’s eight-novel series of same name, featuring the lead character John Stratton, an SBS agent, and working for the Intelligence Detachment in Northern Ireland. The film, producing by Ileen Maisel and Lawrence Elman who also bought the film rights to the novel, would set in Southern Italy, Rome and London.
On 25 February 2015, Simon West was hired to direct the film, which was fully financed by GFM Films. On 28 May 2015, five days before the filming was set to begin on 2 June, Cavill exited the film due to creative differences in the script. On 9 July 2015, it was announced that Dominic Cooper would take over the title role, of John Stratton, replacing Cavill.
Falconer continues to write books and screenplays. In 2016 the film Stratton, based on the main character of his books, was released. It stars Dominic Cooper as Stratton as well as Connie Nielsen, Derek Jacobi and Thomas Kretschmann.
No release date is set for the film in the U.S. as of yet, but U.K. readers can expect to watch it September 1st. What do you think?
Here’s Cooper in The Devil’s Double