Jason Statham is more than a man – he’s a brand. The actor/athlete’s name is now synonymous with the B-movie action flicks that are peppered throughout each and every movie year – most prominently in series like The Transporter or Crank. In fact, Statham has so many single-word or “The” titles on his filmography that its little surprise that some of them are already being tapped for reboots, while others are being developed into multi-film franchise properties.
Specifically, Statham’s action movie breakout film The Transporter is (sort of) being rebooted into a whole new trilogy; meanwhile, the Statham-led 2011 remake of Charles Bronson’s The Mechanic is getting a sequel film. The catch? Statham will only be involved in ONE of these projects.
The Transporter Reboot
As the section heading above would indicate, the next film in the Transporter series will be called Transporter 4 (according to THR) but it would in fact be story that looks back to the origin of Frank Martin (the Transporter character) – meaning that the younger version of the character WILL NOT be played by Statham. Apparently, if Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp production company is successful in launching Transporter 4, then parts 5 & 6 will follow.
The long con is to use this fourth film as a way for EuropaCorp to secure Chinese co-financing for the fifth and sixth installments, in order to take advantage of that widening movie market (see also: Marvel’s Iron Man 3 and Transformers 4). Aside from the three films released between 2002 – 2008, the franchise made a lackluster attempt to stay alive with a TV spinoff simply titled Transporter: The Series. Cinemax aired the show in 2012 (spoiler: it wasn’t a big hit) and as of this year, TNT has committed to taking over the show. That might turn out to be a shrewd move, if the new film sparks a significant amount of interest in the property again.
The Mechanic 2
The Mechanic wasn’t exactly the crown jewel of remakes (read our review), but it was a solid enough throwback action flick. According to THR, Nu Image feels that the first film was solid enough ($50 million worldwide on a $40 million budget) to invest in a sequel.
Currently being eyed to helm the sequel is German director Dennis Gansel, best known for his 2008 film The Wave (Die Welle) or his more recent effort, The Fourth State (Die vierte Macht). Gansel has reportedly been at home working through German studios, but word is he could be lured into the more international-friendly brand that comes with a Statham flick.
No word yet on any returning cast members from the original film (Ben Foster being the biggest question) – but it’s kind of a moot point; I mean, how many people have been really begging for another Mechanic movie, anyway?
We’ll keep you updated on the status of both The Transporter 4 and The Mechanic 2 as news rolls in.