About six months ago, we reported on Jason Statham being cast in the remake of the 1972 action crime-thriller, The Mechanic, about a hitman who takes on an apprentice. At the time there was word that the remake would be a remake in name only, and the story would be changed to a modern-day spy thriller. However, with the latest casting news, it appears the story will be pretty similar if not the same as the original.
Promising news, I say.
Variety is reporting that Donald Sutherland and Ben Foster (Pandorum, X-Men: The Last Stand) are set to co-star with Statham in The Mechanic remake, which is set to be directed by Simon West (Con Air – one of my favorites, FYI :) ) from a screenplay by Karl Gajdusek. Foster is set to play Statham’s hitman apprentice, Steve McKenna (the original role was played by Jan-Michael Vincent), and Sutherland will play Foster’s father who’s also Statham’s handler.
I’ve been a fan of Foster ever since I saw him in the 2005 crime-thriller, Hostage (where he showed off his uneasy, offbeat nature that he’s since become known for); he went on to impress me enormously in HBO’s magnificent Six Feet Under, as the creepy-as-hell Stranger in 30 Days of Night, and he also almost out-acted Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in 3:10 To Yuma (not quite, but almost…). Sutherland is great in most things (we’ll forget about Fool’s Gold, shall we?), and his role here I think might reflect the one he played in the remake of The Italian Job back in 2003.
This hit man role for Statham should fill the gap that was left when he didn’t get the lead role in the video game adaptation, Hitman. Live Free or Die Hard villain, Timothy Olyphant, instead portrayed the bald-headed assassin, looking ridiculous without any hair (why they didn’t just find a bald actor – even if it wasn’t Statham – to play the role, is totally beyond me). Statham might not ever measure up to the ultra-cool Charles Bronson, but for a Mechanic remake, they could certainly do a lot worse.
What do you think of the latest Mechanic casting additions? Have you seen the original, and if so is a remake warranted?
The Mechanic is set to start shooting in the coming weeks in New Orleans, but no release date has been set yet.
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