Robert De Niro has officially joined the cast of Jason Statham’s next action film The Killer Elite.

The announcement comes only two days before the scheduled May 13th start date for production. Filming is set to take place in Australia and the UK. In addition to Statham and De Niro, Clive Owen is on board as well.

The one-sentence plot synopsis for The Killer Elite reads, “A former Navy Seal is forced out of retirement in order to save his friend.”

According to Moviehole, De Niro is set to play “Hunter” (the aforementioned “friend”) – who, more specifically, is Statham’s mentor.

The announcement contradicts a prior report, which claimed the “friend” in question would be a former member of the British special forces. Obviously, the British detail hinted more toward a Clive Owen character – meaning, if the new info isn’t accurate, it’s possible that De Niro could end up playing the film’s villain.

Another synopsis, originally featured on The Daily Mailadds another intriguing component – the story is based on Ranulph Fiennes’ novel “The Feathermen” which follows “a group of former British special forces members who are being hunted by assassins.”

Either way, the cast is looking to provide a solid backbone for a movie that will undoubtedly generate a lot of buzz. Owen and Statham are experienced action stars and De Niro brings some serious dramatic clout to the cast. The film also contains a few other familiar faces – including Chuck’s Yvonne Strahovski, Prison Break’s Dominic Purcell, Animal Kingdom’s Ben Mendelsohn, and Macbeth’s Lachy Hulme.

In my opinion, it’s nice to see that De Niro is still tackling high-octance action roles – as he seems to be having a lot fun at this point in his illustrious career.

Think I’m exaggerating? Make sure to check out De Niro in the latest trailer for Machete.

Hopefully, the addition of a drama heavy-weight like De Niro means the film will be more enjoyable than Statham’s tiring Transporter and Crank franchises.

Are you interested in The Killer Elite? What do you think of the Statham, Owen, De Niro combination? Talk about the cast and film in the comments section below.

The Killer Elite begins production this week but no official release date has been announced.

Source: Moviehole via Cinema Blend