Jason Statham Updating Charles Bronson Hitman Role

Published 6 years ago by , Updated April 26th, 2009 at 2:16 pm,

the mechanic poster Jason Statham Updating Charles Bronson Hitman RoleI don’t think it will be too much longer until we can look at the back catalog of every movie ever made and check the box next to every one that says “Remade?” It seems that a single day can’t go by without news of a remake being announced, this time it is the 1972 action/crime-thriller The Mechanic which starred The Coolest Actor Of All Time (fact, not opinion…) Charles Bronson.

Bronson himself sadly passed away back in 2003, so needless to say it’ll have to be a fresh face who portrays the character of Arthur Bishop. So which modern day tough guy is it going to be?

Well none other than the Transporter and the (apparently) immortal Chev Chelios (from Crank) himself, Mr Jason Statham.

The project hasn’t been in the works for that long so not many details have been released yet, other than the fact that Statham will play the lead, and Simon West (Con Air -which frickin’ rules, btw- and the first Tomb Raider movie) will direct.

The original Mechanic is a relatively old film now, and not that much of an ultra-popular or even much-viewed one, so to help you out here is the synopsis:

Bronson played Arthur Bishop, a mob hit man who operates in a world of his own, an uncompromising world where conventional rules of morality don’t apply and where one wrong move could cost him his life. He’s always worked alone but, as age catches up with him, Bishop takes on a competent and ruthless apprentice (Jan-Michael Vincent) and teaches him everything he knows. Together they become an unmatchable team of globetrotting killers until the pupil’s ruthlessness puts him on a collision course with his teacher.

I have to admit I’ve never seen the original Bronson Mechanic (which I need to do since I am a big fan of his), but rather came across it while looking through his filmography. It sounds like a great idea for a film, one that puts a cool spin on the hitman genre – it actually reminds me of when Jean Reno trained Natalie Portman in The Professional.

However, it looks like they most likely won’t go with that story – according to some early info from IMDB, this remake will only really be a remake in name only, and the story given above will be swapped for a more modernized spy-thriller story.

Well that’s kind of disappointing…

charles bronson in the mechanic Jason Statham Updating Charles Bronson Hitman Role
Jason Statham will take up the “tool box” of the legendary Bronson.

As far as Statham playing the lead role, I think he’d be a great choice, an apt choice. He is kind of like a “talky” version of Bronson. If you watch stuff like Once Upon A Time In The West and Death Wish, Bronson is more of the “silent but deadly type,” whereas Statham both kicks serious ass and talks the talk, as they say. I just wonder if they’re going to have him less talkative for this role and just have him get on with the action at hand.

The role of a hitman should have been Statham’s a couple of years ago when they did the video game adaptation of Hitman, but for some bewildering reason they gave it to Timothy Olyphant, who looked ridiculous with a bald head, trying to do that intense, gruff thing that only a select few can pull off convincingly (Statham included).

Go on, Jason, show ’em how it’s done!…

Screen Rant will keep you up-to-date with The Mechanic remake as more news gets released.

So are there any fans of the original film out there? Do you think Statham is right for the remake?

Source: ComingSoon.net

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  1. Ross, I agree with you on one thing, Con-Air does F’N rule!
    I am a Bronson fan myself but not the coolest actor, VERY CLOSE THOUGH! I know it is cliché but it is McQueen! But Bronson is just a few inches below McQueen on the cool factor–I really cannot front on McQueen since my parents named me after him.
    I agree Bronson is not that talkative in Once Upon A Time In The West & to an extent Death Wish, but given the right role the Man talks. He talks the most in The Magnificent Seven and in Never So Few.

  2. Statham turned down the role for Hitman I think, probably because it was basically another Transporter movie. But Statham is awesome and I like the sound of this.

  3. SK-47, you took the words right out of my mouth, lol. Can’t forget Clint Eastwood either. Harry Callahan is plain legendary.

  4. Another bloody remake. The only change the original needs is someone other than jan michael vincent as the apprentice, all else was very well done so chances are that as usual this remake will suck.

  5. “Age is catching up with him”

    Isn’t Statham a little too young to play an aging hitman?

  6. Could work as a remake, but the thing Statham won’t be able to get is that kind of weird serenity Bronson had. Apparently Clint Eastwood only got the lead in A Fisful Of Dollars after Bronson turned it down. On the surface they’re similar “silent but deadly” actors, but it’s difficult to imagine him in that role now, just as Eastwood wouldn’t have been the same in Once Upon A Time In The West.

  7. granted, Statham has that certain something, he radiates that self assuredness that needs to go hand in hand with every badass leading man.

    I loved Bronson, he was a tad more versatile than most give him credit for with roles in Telefon, The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven and The Dirty Dozen (personally his best along w/the Mag. 7 imho) you get an idea that there is more there than just a brute force presence, subtle but he doesn’t need a lot of dialogue to get his character across with that world weary face of his.

    I think that would be a great topic for another SR article someday, ranking the leading men of action from the 50’s thru to today, there’s been so many good ones (and quite a few lame ones) that they really do handle the wish fulfillment of most guys quite well.

  8. I have the first two seasons of the great western TV show Have Gun Will Travel, look it up if ya don’t know it. Bronson guest stars in a couple of episodes as different characters, he was a very versatile actor to add what piratedan has to say about Sir Charles!

  9. They are screwing this up! They should keep the original script and have Bruce Willis play the aging hitman and Statham play the apprentice. Why change a good script?

  10. I thought Michael Douglas was attached to this role?
    As much as i like Statham, he’s too young for this role. Maybe he should play the JMV apprentice character?

    How about maybe SEAGAL or STALLONE, taking the lead?

  11. Just so you guys at SR know, this article and the one with that Slade guy thugging it have the full article on the main pagge instead of just the summary.

  12. I love the Mechanic, it is one of my favourite films. Dont change the script. I think for an ageing hitman you could use Ray Liotta. The best apprentice unfortunately passed away, and that was Heath Ledger. Matt Damon would be great in the final scene with his smuggness and arogance that is his down fall, but he is looking a bit old. Lets hope it isnt a ‘new’ movie with a classic title like alot of remakes.

  13. U should get ur facts straight before firing off at the mouth bro.
    Jason turned down the role of hitman. So they gave it to oliphant.
    Another thing the role of hitman did not need a gruff attitude ridden character as you so lovingly put it. No, the role of hitman needed an emotionless, to the point, tactful man which oliphant pulled off with grace, everything down to the walk, oliphant represented. While I agree that jason could have done it just as well, you have to give oliphant credit for the work he put in. He was perfect and mimicked the presence of the video game character right down to a T.
    Plus, the role needed an actor that was so popular that he’d take away from the mystery of the hitman character. These hitman are supposed to be nobodies. While Jason could pull off the acting with no phase, I really think that his popularity would have killed the movie.