Jason Statham isn’t just an action star; he’s an action star with such a specific style, and whose films have adhered to such a coherent aesthetic, that I think of him as having a genre completely unto himself. Jason Statham is the star of Jason Statham movies, and it looks like he’s signing on to be in at least one more. He is under negotiations to star in Parker, which is under the direction of Taylor Hackford (Proof of Life, Ray) and coming from an adapted screenplay by John J. McLoughlin (Black Swan).
What that screenplay is adapted from is the work of writer Richard Stark, or as he was known when he wasn’t being all pen-namey, Donald Westlake. The man wrote 28 novels over the course of his career, and 24 of them were featuring the character of Parker, a single word named, cold-blooded criminal type who engages in ruthless behavior but lives by his own code. Sounds very Jason Stathamy.
This is the first time that the Parker character has been brought to the big screen in name, but he has been used as source material before, for things like Lee Marvin’s character in Point Blank, Robert Duvall’s character in The Outfit, and Mel Gibson’s character in Payback. There is no word on whether or not this film will be a direct translation of any of Westlake’s works, or if it will just swim around in the Parker milieu, but I’m sure we can all bank on the fact that it will give Statham ample excuse to do some fast driving, hard punching, and cool quipping. You know, like in those Jason Statham movies.