Fresh off The Expendables 2 and Safe, action-star Jason Statham is already signed on for his next project, a Heat remake. For those of you who are concerned that Statham would dare step into the shoes that Robert De Niro or Al Pacino once wore – it’s not that Heat. Statham is set to star in a remake of the 1986 Dirk Richards and Jerry Jameson film, which starred Burt Reynolds as a compulsive-gambling ex-mercenary working as a bodyguard in Las Vegas. So, fans of Michael Mann’s 1995 Los Angeles cops and robbers tale can go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief.
Brian De Palma (Scarface) was originally signed on to direct, working from a newer edition of the script written by the legendary William Goldman (All the President’s Men). However, De Palma recently dropped out, leaving opportunity for Statham to reunite with a frequent collaborator.
According to Cinema Blend, Sierra/Affinity, which is selling the rights, announced that Simon West, who last worked with Statham on The Expendables 2, is taking over directorial duties. West and Statham, who also worked with one another on The Mechanic, have also brought expert fight-choreographer and action-film director Cory Yuen on board. Yuen also has a good rapport with Statham, as the two teamed up in 2002 for The Transporter.
Even though De Palma is out, Goldman is reportedly still on board to update his 1986 screenplay, so presumably, the story will closely resemble that of the original. Statham will play the role that Reynolds originally did, a rough and tough bodyguard who gets mixed up with the Vegas mob. Reynolds may have been admired as one of the tough guys of his day, but this seems like a role tailor-made for Statham, who has been beating up low-level goons in just about everything he’s ever done.
So with Statham, West and Yuen being called upon for the project, you can easily envision the film the producers are trying to make. It’s safe to assume that Heat will be a high-octane version of the original, with intense and complicated fight sequences, along with plenty of big action set-pieces. Basically, if you love Statham’s previous work, you’ll probably find a lot to appreciate here.
However, Goldman’s involvement does make things interesting. He is a writer who is keen on story and characters, so we will see if the studio brings in another writer to pump up the action, or if the combination of Goldman and Statham makes for a more intriguing actioner that also acts as a character study.
With Heat recently changing hands, it may be a while before shooting begins, but as always we will update you on any further happenings involving the project.
Source: Cinema Blend