Sorry folks, no more greased up Jason Statham getting punchy for you…at least so far a the Transporter franchise is concerned. What you and The Stath do on your own time is your business.
As recently reported, Luc Besson announced a deal for three additional Transporter films during last year’s Cannes Film Festival, all sans Statham, being that these new entries will be a franchise reboot. The latest incarnation of stunt driving martial arts tough guy Frank Martin will be thirty-year-old Game of Thrones alumnus Ed Skrein, who played Daenerys Targaryen ally Daario Naharis in HBO’s ratings juggernaut. The Englishman doesn’t have a terribly deep resume, but the full faith of Besson and EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert, who told Variety, “We searched everywhere to find a fresh face who had the potential to become an action movie star, and we’ve found the right match with Ed Skrein, who is not only a great actor, but also has enough charisma and physical stamina to play Frank Martin with brio.”
The reboot will serve as an origin story, introducing audiences to the man that would become the tough-as-nails Frank, who had very little in the way of background development in the first three films. While plot details are expectedly scarce this early in the game, Lambert has said the first of the three new installments will bring audiences back to the French Riviera, where the 2002 original took place. The film will also feature the relationship between Frank and his father, whom is supposed to be played by a noteworthy, big-name actor yet to be cast.
Besson, set to write and produce the new entires, has put long-time collaborator Camille Delamarre in the driver’s seat as director for the next three films. Delamarre has worked with Besson on Taken 2 and Colombiana as an editor, as well as making his directorial debut in the Luc-written Brick Mansions, the final film of the late Paul Walker.
Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp is co-producing and financing the latest film with Mark Gao’s Shanghai-based Fundamental Films, which will release the movie in China.
While many may wonder if the franchise will have any legs without the star power of Jason Statham as its lead, particularly with a new face lacking a lot of North American market exposure thus far, perhaps the Transporter name alone will put butts in seats. That still might be a tall order, being that the most recent entry into the series was six years ago.
That first trailer, whenever it arrives, is gonna have to be killer.