De Palma directing Statham
It's hard to believe for some but Jason Statham is set to lead a Brian De Palma directed film which comes from writer William Goldman. Now while I love Statham and his films he has been pegged in a certain category, but I think The Expendables and The Mechanic (Filmstalker review) are key to his profile being elevated and this news might be the first real hike up for him.
There are other titles that have helped increase his exposure, and there are other titles in post production that are taking him away from the action heavy role he once had, but a Goldman script with De Palma directing? That's big.
The excitement for this came about when people started seeing the film in question was a remake of a previous film called Heat. Yes, I know I leapt to the same conclusion as well, could that mean a remake of the Michael Mann film which he already remade himself? Well no, it's a different film.
Heat, in this case, refers to the 1986 film starring Burt Reynolds from director Derek Richards, think Farewell My Lovely, and writer William Goldman, who adapted his own novel for the film. Here's the blurb for Heat:
Nick Escalante isn't a violent man by nature. He's just good at it. Protection is his business. Especially when it comes to his friends.
Not that much, but the story from Deadline tells us that the lead is a recovering gambling addict who provides protection for people on the seedier and rougher side of the world of gambling. A female friend is beaten by a high stakes mobster and he goes in fists blazing causing himself far more trouble than he expected.
Taking that blurb and write up you could easily see Jason Statham gently easing his way into that kind of film, after all it's the kind of film he's been doing, but the two differences are William Goldman and Brian De Palma.
Goldman's script, although I'm not sure if it's the original or a brand new one, is from his own novel and with De Palma directing this is sounding more than your average slick action film. I do hope that De Palma is on form for this, and it promises that Jason Statham can show us more of the acting ability that he does have, you just have to watch is acting films carefully or see something like The Bank Job (Filmstalker review) for a demonstration.
The interesting thing will be what could this lead to for the actor, and can we see De Palma return to form?