Jason Statham

We don’t often report on casting rumors so far in advance of production, but seeing as the very fun Fast Five hit DVD and Blu-ray today it seem fitting that we pass along this item about its inevitable follow-up. Well, two items actually. According to the fine folks at Twitch, Universal is hoping to move forward next year on filming two back-to-back installments of the Fast & Furious series to take place throughout Europe. It only makes sense as Fast Five was both the highest grossing and most entertaining of the bunch. The plan is for Justin Lin to return for part six and for Peter Jackson to take over directing duties on part seven. That’s not strictly true, but Jackson seems pretty comfortable being attached to one half of simultaneously filmed epics so I figured I’d suggest it now. It won’t happen, but how curious are you now to see a Jackson directed muscle car movie? The second piece of info uncovered by Twitch is that the franchise producers are hoping to lure Jason Statham into their fold for one or both of the films. Adding him to the mix seems like a no-brainer especially as the series heads to Europe. Statham is British after all, but more relevant to the matter at hand is his status as a follicle-challenged ass kicker who knows his way around a car. Can you even imagine the sweat and testosterone overload sure to occur when Statham, Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson go […]

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Killer Elite begins by stressing that what on the surface appeared to be little more than a run-of-the-mill Jason Statham-Clive Owen action flick is in fact a serious evocation of the chaotic geopolitical scene circa 1980, and based on a true story. Naively, I felt a twinge of eager anticipation. Could this actually be a serious globe-trotting thriller, a chance for Statham to showcase some dramatic range? Not so much.

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When Sylvester Stallone started casting for the original The Expendables it was said to be an all-star action icon meet up. Anybody who had ever been in an action movie before, and even a lot of dudes who just slept on those guys’ couches for a couple months, were all rumored to be in the film. When all was said and done, however, it mostly just ended up being a Stallone and Jason Statham team-up movie, with a dash of Jet Li, a sprinkle of Mickey Rourke, and a very brief cameo from the other big action icons Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. Not quite the all-star lineup people hoped for. Now that production is underway for a sequel, the rumor mill has once again been churning out hopes and dreams of an all-star action cast. Not only are Willis and Schwarzenegger supposed to have bigger roles this time around, but sources loosely associated with the project have intimated that huge names in the action genre like John Travolta, Chuck Norris, and Jean Claude Van Damme are all going to be in the cast as well.

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It’s true that Robert De Niro, Jason Statham and Clive Owen make a type of dream team when it comes to action movies, especially ones that involve kidnapped mentors and the promise/threat of revenge. At the very least, it’s a ridiculous line-up for a first time feature director. To that point, here’s co-writer/director Gary McKendry explaining very briefly what it was like getting the gig and hearing who he’d be working with:

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It’s not often that two tough guys like Jason Statham and Paddy Considine share their feelings, but it does happen. And while we don’t know much about Blitz, a new direct-to-DVD actioner starring the pair, we do know that some feelings will be shared in between rounds of ass-kicking. In fact, we’ve got an exclusive clip to debut for you that proves said assertion. Don’t worry though, the trailer for this film also indicates that many a mean person has their face kicked in by a big ole’ Statham boot, so it’s not all therapy sessions.

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David Varod is the CEO of a Bulgaria based film studio called Nu Boyana. This is notable because Sylvester Stallone and his new director pal Simon West are filming scenes for their upcoming sequel to Stallone’s team-up movie The Expendables in Bulgaria. This is newsworthy because Varod is claiming that some big names, not previously confirmed as being in The Expendables 2, are on their way to Bulgaria to film for the movie. When speaking to Novinite, Varod first confirmed that shooting was taking place in September, and then hinted that a lot of Hollywood stars would be moving into the country to do work, “Yes, we are definitely going to do that project. It is going to be a sequel the (sic) The Expendables. The shooting is going to take place the second week of September. The movie is on, definitely. It will be a very good thing for Bulgaria, since there are some very big stars coming.” Big stars, that makes sense. It’s long been assumed that the stars from the original film like Stallone, Jason Statham, and Mickey Rourke would return. There was even some notion that guys like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who only made small cameos in the first film, might return in larger roles this time. But when pressed to name off the “big stars” that would be making their way into the country, Varod named a few that could potentially be huge casting announcements.

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Almost two years ago to the day we first brought you news that Jason Statham would be starring in a movie called Blitz. Remember? You were really excited at the time. Well guess what? It’s finally ready to see the light of day. Sadly it’ll be bypassing theaters and going straight to video, but hey, at least we’ll get to see it. Statham plays against type as a detective fond of circumventing the rules in his quest to bring down the bad guys, but when a serial killer (Aidan Gillen) starts capping cops Statham’s skills are put to the test. Together with a new partner (the always awesome Paddy Considine) the duo must work fast before the madman murders his way through the entire force. Check out the brand new trailer below.

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All during the lead up to Transformers: Dark of the Moon, both the film’s director Michael Bay and its star Shia LaBeouf made it clear that three was going to be enough for them, and that they would not be coming back for a Transformers 4. Usually when declarations like this are made there’s a lot of hand wringing that goes on as everybody tries to figure out what it would take to get the big names back. In this case, however, the concept of huge robots turning into cars and fighting is way, way cooler than either Michael Bay or Shia LaBeouf.  You guys aren’t coming back? Great, then maybe we’ll finally get a Transformers movie that’s completely awesome. And if the early rumors turn out to have nuggets of truth to them, then I already like Transformers 4 better than I’ve liked any of the first three. Showbiz Spy is claiming that they have sources close to the development of the franchise, and seeing as the third film is making so much money, a fourth is going to be attempted even without Bay and LaBeouf. And since they can cast off the shackles of the previous creative direction, they are looking to take the Autobots in a much darker and more adult direction. To that end they’re apparently looking at action star Jason Statham to become the new lead of the series.

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This morning, Robert Fure felt a great shift in the universe during his daily viewing of Pumping Iron. That shift, was the trailer for Killer Elite – a streamlined trailer with zero plot and a hell of a lot of action. If you like deadpan one-liners delivered before watching a dude tied to a chair backflip onto his captor, you’re about to shed a single tear. If you don’t like those things, why not? Have you gotten treatment for it yet? Oh, and the dude in question is Jason Statham. That’s right. Statham. Clive Owen. Robert De Niro. The Scorpions. This is a lesson on how to build an action movie.

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Nice work America, you really did it this time. This was the season that everybody was finally supposed to stop watching American Idol. This was the season they were coming back without all of their signature judges, surely a death knell for any long running television show. But instead of abandoning a sinking ship, you people kept watching the show in bigger numbers than ever, and now there’s renewed interest in the career of replacement judge Jennifer Lopez. I’m not saying that I have anything against Jennifer Lopez. She’s probably a nice enough rich person, and I respect the size and shape of her butt, but I was pretty content living in a world where she didn’t star in lame romantic comedies anymore, and those days appear to soon be over. Reports are that Lopez is in negotiations to appear in two films. The first is the Jason Statham starring action film Parker, which has been previously reported as being directed by Taylor Hackford and adapted from the written works of Richard Stark. Parker is a literary character who has been brought to the big screen before, most notably as played by Mel Gibson in Payback and Lee Marvin in Point Blank. If Lopez signed on to the film she would be playing the girl. I can’t imagine there’s much more to it than that.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column chronicling all that is good and true(ish) in the world. But enough gay banter, its author caught the new trailer for The Muppets this evening — it’s attached to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides — and it was adorable. Not Pirates, that wasn’t great, the Muppets trailer. Speaking of Muppets, here’s something sad… 21 years ago today, Jim Henson passed away. Our friends over at /Film are remembering him by posting a wonderful documentary called The World of Jim Henson. It’s worth your time, as you might imagine.

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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 […]

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At the tail end of last year it was announced that following the success of Nikita on The CW, networks were looking to create new television series’ around Luc Besson film properties. The first of these announcements came in the form of the possibility of a series based on The Transporter. It looks like that wish is going to be coming true because according to Deadline, Cinemax will be putting the series into production, with Luc Besson serving as Executive Producer and a twelve episode commitment. According to Deadline, the series will follow the same structure as the films: “Operating in a seedy underworld of dangerous criminals and desperate players, Frank Martin can always be counted on to get the job done — discreetly. He has three rules: Never change the deal, no names and never open the package.” There is no word, nor is there likely to be, on whether Jason Statham will have any involvement in the series. The series is set to begin production this summer in Europe and Canada with a budget of $48 million. This works out to $4 million an episode, which will hopefully be more than enough to get a proper TV adaptation of the franchise.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spent the night in jail after trying to sneak in and see Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D. The cops didn’t believe him that he was trying to watch the latest remake of Thunderball. Sadly, they just saw a pervy looking fat guy squealing and crying with a group of thirteen year old girls. Fortunately, he had a chance to catch the other movies of the week, including Gnomeo and Juliet, Just Go With It and The Eagle. He also gives a little bit of love (what’s left of it anyway after spending the night in lock-up) to the Oscar-Nominated Shorts.

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Recently I spent an entire weekend watching Charles Bronson films in an effort to document his very best kills. I, and at various times a rotating cadre of my friends, watched 20 movies over three days during what was dubbed Bronsothon. Needless to say, I waded through some really awful movies that weekend, but there were more than a few pleasant surprises. Among them were Mr. Majestyk, Death Wish 2, and The Mechanic. The Mechanic blew my mind because as much as it was a familiar Bronson shoot-em-up, it was also a fairly cerebral character study. It also had an ending I did not at all expect; I loved it. When I heard the upcoming Jason Statham film was a remake, I had to see it.

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Jumping out of windows! Smashing cars into other cars! Slowly walking away from a devastating explosion while putting on designer sunglasses! Jason Statham steadfastly refuses to make a different film, which is bullet-based music to the ears of some fans. With the new trailer for the Mechanic remake, Statham proves he can do the thing everyone on the planet knows he can do – play a bad ass with a gun and a score to settle. Still, without the mustache, he’s only operating at 34% Bronson. It’s red-band, so enter in your date of birth and enjoy the ka-booms:

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Pixel to Projector

The first time I uttered a curse word was when I was eight. Perhaps these days that would make me a late bloomer (you kids with your snap bracelets and Ace of Base, amirite?), but back then it was a pretty big deal, and it was attached to a big event — the unfettered hatred of my first self-purchased game – Ghosts ‘n Goblins for the NES. To say this game was a motherf@*ker is a monumental understatement. Capcom’s Ghost ‘n Goblins is widely considered one of the most difficult early arcade titles of all time, and I’ll readily admit that I could only get so far before throwing the controller and screaming myself out — my mother finding me in the fetal position; a mass of burning tears and snot.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr takes a gander at the demographically delineated movie selection this weekend. The ladies have Julia Roberts finding herself in Eat Pray Love. The dudes have Sly and the action family Stallone with the much anticipated The Expendables. And the fanboys fresh from Comic-Con have the high-concept slug-fest Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Sorry to all the teenage girls out there. You’ll just have to go see Eclipse at the dollar theater this weekend.

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The Expendables

For many — especially those who love to see things stabbed, shot and ‘sploded with maximum force — all you really need from a legendary badass team-up like The Expendables is the action. There is no need for story or character development, no use for sharp or witty dialog, and no room for romance. It’s all about the loudest and most violent moments that the mind of director Sylvester Stallone can deliver. Nothing else really matters, right? Perhaps. But consider this. The Expendables flick that’s been playing out in your mind since the moment the project was announced is the epitome of a “no holds barred thrill ride,” is it not? A non-stop smattering of violence hung together by a generic, but mostly logical plot. It never lets up, does it? Unlike that movie that’s been playing in your head, the real Expendables film is a mixed bag. Inside this bag is the action that’s been promised from day one, the gigantic men of action making their requisite appearances (if only momentary, in some cases) and plenty of bodies to be piled up at the end of the day. Also in this bag is an unseemly amount of character and plot. Remember that thing you didn’t need in this testosterone-a-thon? Yeah, that’s all there. In just as much bulk as the stuff that you did want.

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Lionsgate has released a new 60-second trailer for Sly Stallone’s The Expendables. And despite its brief runtime, it may be the best trailer they’ve released for the name-heavy actioner yet. It accurately captures the promised tone of the film, one filled with bullets and bravado. A mountain of machismo. Oh, and they’ve improved their choice of music a bit — I can’t stand that metal song they used in the first full trailer.

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