Jason Statham is one of the most reliable action movie draws in cinema today, even if he has only anchored modest hits that do not rely on more than his glare, deep voice and physical stamina. He is a much bigger star internationally than in North America, which explains why films like Crank and The Transporter got sequels. However, one of his lesser successes, 2011’s The Mechanic, is also moving forward with a follow-up.
German director Dennis Gansel (The Wave) is looking to helm The Mechanic 2 with Statham back in the leading role as assassin Arthur Bishop. As you may recall, Bishop is a contract killer who puts a special emphasis on covering up his attacks with efficiency, aligning with a strict code of conduct. Bishop has much in common with Statham’s Frank Martin from the Transporter movies and the derivative character could explain why The Mechanic was a relative box office disappointment – $21 million in North America and a grand sum of just over $50 million when combined with foreign sales.
In an ironic turn, though, Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has announced that it is moving forward with a reboot of the Transporter franchise. This reimagining will not have Statham reprising his role, as it will focus on Martin’s origins. The plan is for two follow-up films to come on its heels, to be set up as Chinese co-productions. Given the burgeoning middle-class market in China, which has resulted in bustling box office, this seems like a good financial deal. However, one wonders if a lack of Jason Statham’s brusque charisma may spell box office poison for this reboot and ultimately sink plans for a trilogy.
Would you dish out money to see a sequel to The Mechanic? Likewise, is a Statham-less Transporter reboot something you would be interested in? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: The Playlist