A follow-up to Daniel Craig's British gangster film Layer Cake has been in development for years, but it's being reported that Netflix's sequel series Viva La Madness is scheduled to finally start filming this March. The project was previously announced as far back as 2013, when it was stated that Jason Statham would be replacing Craig as the lead character, but little has happened to move the production forward in recent years - until now.
Layer Cake was the cult 2004 UK crime thriller that marked the directorial debut of Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman: The Golden Circle). Adapted from a book by author J. J. Connolly, the story revolved around a London-based criminal played by Craig, in one of the last roles he took before becoming James Bond in Casino Royale. The narrative never actually names Craig's character, instead he's just given the non-descriptive name of 'XXXX' in the credits. The film is notable for featuring roles for many famous British character actors like Tom Hardy (Venom), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), and Sienna Miller (American Sniper). Connolly published a follow-up novel called Viva La Madness in 2011, and rumors soon started to rise about a filmed version. It was then reported that Statham had bought the rights to the book in 2013, and was intending to take the lead role and replace Craig as XXXX.
Only minimal news has been given on progress of the production since then. Statham did give a minor update in 2015 assuring fans that he was still committed to filming it, although it has since became clear that this will now be a TV series rather than a movie. The show now appears to be moving forwards again at a quick pace, as Omega Underground is reporting that the Netflix series based on Viva La Madness is expected to shoot from mid-March to the end of August. The bulk of the filming will apparently take place at Shepperton Studios in the UK.
The original film saw XXXX trying to 'retire' from the drug business and ended with his uncertain fate. If the sequel series follows the novel's plot, it will see the ex-criminal relaxing in the Caribbean, only to be pulled back into his old ways by two London gangsters called Sonny King and Twitchy. There are no further details on any casting or screening dates for the series. The British director Eran Creevy (Welcome to the Punch) was previously attached to the production, but it's not known if that is still the case. It's also yet to be verified as to whether Statham will indeed take the role of XXXX in the series, especially as he has so many commitments right now, including the Untitled Fast and Furious Spinoff.
It will be interesting to see what further updates on the production emerge next. The idea of Statham headlining a new gangster romp on Netflix is intriguing, especially in the wake of attention grabbing Netflix Original series like Altered Carbon. Even so, it's probably wise to wait on further details before getting too excited about the ongoing adventures of XXXX.
We will bring you more details on Viva La Madness as they become available.
Source: Omega Underground