CBS Films has acquired the US distribution rights to The Mechanic, a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson action film about a hitman training his young protege in the fine art of killing. The film stars Jason Statham, who can be seen next in the testosterone-fueled The Expendables, Ben Foster (X3), and Donald Sutherland. Simon West (Con Air) directed the film.

Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff (the Academy Award-winning team behind Rocky and Goodfellas) and their sons David Winkler and William Chartoff produced the movie.

Check below for an image of Statham and Foster in action. Click the image for a high-res version.

Remaking films from the 1970s and 1980s has become something of a crutch for Hollywood producers. It seems like if they don’t have an original idea, they just flip through their DVD collection until they find something to remake. There are catches though; The original movie can’t be so beloved that people will be mad when they remake it, but it also can’t be so terrible that people will dismiss it outright.

The Mechanic is an example of a perfectly safe Hollywood remake. People love Charles Bronson and enjoy the original movie, but not to the point where they will refuse to see Jason Statham in the role. Besides, it’s an action movie. As long as stuff blows up, there will be a solid audience.

On the plus side, judging from the first trailer, The Mechanic has the chance to also be a good remake. While not the world’s greatest thespian, Jason Statham has proven himself to be a quality leading man and legitimate action star. Ben Foster has worked in action movies previously, but has also shown impressive range in films like last year’s excellent drama The Messenger. Together, the pair should do well.

Source: CBS Films Press Release