Ever since Jason Statham made his first screen appearance in 1998's Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, he has steadily built himself into a true cinematic badass. It didn't happen overnight, mind you — it took years of hard work, working out, and martial arts training. It was with Transporter in 2002 that he cemented himself in place as the action star of the future. From that moment on, he has not looked back.
That movie was a slice of pure action movie bliss. It delivered high octane action, car chases, shootouts, and a bounty of fisticuffs that surely pleased even the most jaded of action aficionados. It had a story, one that was interesting enough, but it was far from a plot heavy work. Statham, as Frank, was a driver. For a fee he will take anything and transport it to another location. It gave him a good life, until a kidnapped girl becomes his goods. He decides to do the right thing, a thing that brought down a bevy of vengeful fists upon him. Oh, what glorious action it was.
The film proved to be a big enough success that a sequel followed in 2005. The plot remained as simple, and the action remained high. I have to admit that I want to see the continued adventures of Frank. It appears that is going to happen.
It has been reported by Variety that Jason Statham has signed on for a third film. This is great news for anyone who likes action movies. They are throwbacks to the action of the '80s, only with better acting.
Luc Besson will be back as producer, which is a good thing. While his directorial skills seem to have diminished (Arthur and the Invisibles, anyone?), his skill at guiding young directing talent and delivering exciting films to the screen is still in full effect (Hitman aside). He will have new talent helming the film as Louis Leterrier, who helmed the second film, will not be returning. In his place, Olivier Megaton (great surname for an action director, no?) will be taking the helm. His last work was as second unit director on the aforementioned Hitman. Hopefully sitting in the big chair with Besson at his ear will help him forget about that debacle.
Joining Statham in the cast are the returning Francois Berleand as Tarconi, the French inspector from the first two films, and Robert Knepper, who has carved his own niche on the small screen as T-Bag on TV's Prison Break.
There is no release date set, only word that the film will shoot in Russia and France for 16 weeks.
Lest you be wondering about your Statham fix, The Bank Job is about to come out, plus the Death Race remake in September, and Crank 3: High Voltage and a long awaited sequel to The Italian Job called The Brazilian Job.