Jason Statham turns 54 years old this summer, and despite being at an age where many other actors comfortably settle into the next stage of their career as distinguished veterans that end up taking more background roles than ever before, he’s content to maintain his status as one of cinema’s marquee action heroes for some time to come.
If anything, Statham is a bigger star now than at any point of his life, with the five biggest box office hits of his entire filmography arriving in the space of the last decade. Admittedly, three of those are down to his involvement with the blockbuster Fast & Furious franchise, but big budget creature feature The Meg surprised a lot of people when it swam to over $530 million globally back in 2018.
It was a functionally entertaining effort that never come particularly close to being spectacular, but the sequel has made the unexpected and very exciting decision to hire Ben Wheatley as director, with the versatile filmmaker having built his reputation by hopping between genres at will and making a pretty good fist of them all.
In a new interview, Statham hyped up the project a bit and confirmed that The Meg 2 is tentatively scheduled to begin shooting at the beginning of next year, presumably with an eye to releasing in the summer of 2023.
“We’re gonna start shooting in January, if I get my dates right. Ben Wheatley is the director, I’m very excited to work with him. I’m thrilled to get going, it’s been a while. We’ve been waiting around for the right scripts to come in and the right director to turn up, and we’ve got all those things and they’re all stacked up now. Yeah Wheatley’s great. We have a great shorthand already. We’ve got similar taste. I like his movies, I think he’s a brilliant director. I think we’ve got a good shot at making something good.”
The leading man is going to be plenty busy over the coming years if the cards fall right without even thinking about The Meg 2, given that Randy Couture is still talking up the possibility of The Expendables 4, while there are plans for a Hobbs & Shaw sequel, too. Not to mention Statham’s desire to get back in the thick of the main Fast & Furious timeline, while he’s also got a pair of Guy Ritchie thrillers in the pipeline with Wrath of Man releasing next week and Five Eyes in post-production.