It's not a complete day in the movie news reporting business unless an announcement about either a remake or a new Jason Statham action vehicle has been released. Today, we have a story that covers both of those grounds, as "The Stath" is set to headline Heat, a remake of the 1986 film - NOT the 1995 Michael Mann movie - scripted by multiple Oscar-winner William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Princess Bride), based on his original novel.
Goldman hasn't penned a screenplay since Dreamcatcher in 2003, but the 80-year-old author/screenwriter will be getting back in the saddle for the latest cinematic version of Heat. Fellow Hollywood filmmaking icon Brian De Palma will serve as director on the new Statham-centric dramatic thriller.
Here is how Sierra/Affinity describes the new film adaptation of Heat (in the official press release):
This tightly-wound, fun action-thriller, tells the story of a tough recovering gambling addict (Statham) who makes his living providing protection in the rough edges of the gambling world. Statham's character refuses to resort to gunplay, strictly using hand and edged weapon combat. When a dear friend is brutally beaten by a high-rolling mobster, he helps her get her revenge and he ends up in more trouble than he ever imagined.
The 1986 film version of Heat stars Burt Reynolds as the protagonist bodyguard-with-a-troubled-past; as was mentioned before, that movie was also written by Goldman. However, as far as contemporary reworkings of older titles go, this project qualifies as worthwhile under our Top 5 Rules For Movie Remakes. Much like the Statham-starring The Mechanic remake, most moviegoers probably won't even think "remake," when they either read about or see footage from the new Heat...They'll inevitably think of Mann's film, which is NOT CONNECTED TO THIS FILM.
It's fair to say: whenever most people hear the words "Jason Statham thriller," they automatically assume the actor will be playing yet another seemingly invulnerable force of nature in human form, who uses his physical prowess to serve some noble purpose. That will almost certainly be true with Heat, but we could get to see a somewhat more interestingly "human" and less invincible variation on the stereotypical Statham character, given his status as a recovering addict therein.
Both Goldman and De Palma are highly-decorated talents who've been responsible for producing great pieces of Hollywood entertainment over the decades, so their being involved with Heat sounds promising enough, from that perspective. Of course, some would argue the two are past their artistic prime - and it's kind of hard to dismiss such complaints entirely - especially with regards to De Palma's unmemorable work since the late 1990s (see: Mission to Mars, Femme Fatale, The Black Dahlia).
Heat is expected to begin principal photography by either late 2012 or early 2013.