From its humble beginnings as a modestly-budgeted French action movie starring a little-known British actor, The Transporter has expanded into a franchise with two sequels that did increasingly well at the box office, a spinoff TV series, and another upcoming movie called The Transporter Refueled. Original star Jason Statham was otherwise engaged making a different movie about cars, so this time around driver Frank Martin is played by former Game of Thrones actor and current Nicholas Hoult lookalike, Ed Skrein.
The premise of the Transporter series is fairly simple. Frank is no-questions-asked driver-for-hire with highly tuned skills behind the wheel and three simple rules: #1 All deals are final; #2 No Names; #3 Never open the package. In theory his job should only involve driving, but Frank is also deadly in hand-to-hand combat and gunplay in case things go wrong (which they usually do).
The first full-length trailer for The Transporter Refueled, which was directed by Camille Delamarre (Brick Mansions), has now arrived and we're pleased to report that the movie actually looks pretty decent. If you accept it for the Fast-and-Furious-lite, stunts-driven, slightly brainless action-fest that it's probably going to be, then the whole thing looks like it could be a successful reboot of a formula that worked well the first time around. It helps that Skrein seems to have more than enough charisma to pull off the main role.
The Transporter Refueled was scripted by writing duo Bill Collage and Adam Cooper, whose previous credits include Exodus: Gods and Kings and Tower Heist. This is a prequel rather than a reboot, and in this latest adventure Frank is hired by a conniving femme fatale called Anna (Loan Chabanol), who kidnaps Frank's father (Ray Stevenson) in order to coerce him into joining her mission to take down a group of human traffickers.
Check out a new poster for The Transporter Refueled below.
Leading man Skrein has previously played smaller roles in British crime dramas Ill Manors and The Sweeney, but is probably best known worldwide for playing mercenary Daario Naharis in a few episodes of Game of Thrones, before Michiel Huisman took over the role. Skrein doesn't yet have a huge profile that The Transporter Refueled could derail, but if the movie is successful he could end up getting stuck in the action movie niche - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course.
Statham himself got stuck in that niche and excelled at it, starring in all three Expendables movies and more recently taking a more comedic turn in Spy. It's possible that he'll return to the Transporter franchise one day, but for the moment Skrein looks like a competent driver and it will be interesting to see what he does with the role.
The Transporter Refueled crashes into theaters on September 4th, 2015.