I'm rooting hard to Jason Statham to become a real action star, and I'm not really sure why. The vast majority of his output as an actor could be generously described as mediocre, while he's got way more than his fair share of outright disasters-- In the Name of the King and Death Race would have killed a lesser man. But he's part of the sprawling ensemble of The Expendables, which gives him some action movie cred alongside some of the genre's titans, and now his effort to become the new Charles Bronson by remaking a Bronson film has been picked up for distribution.
According to Deadline the fledgling-- and struggling-- CBS Films has picked up the distribution rights to The Mechanic, a remake of the 1972 Bronson film that stars Statham as a hitman training a young apprentice. Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland also star, which makes this pretty much the perfect storm of actors you will see in any movie no matter how bad it looks. Direct Simon West is responsible for action and genre movies both good (Con Air, the first Tomb Raider) and bad (When A Stranger Calls), but none of those movies had Statham so it's probably an unfair comparison.
The Mechanic makes the first film that CBS Films has acquired from elsewhere, and they claim it has nothing to do with the fact that their first few films have flopped hard-- Extraordinary Measures and The Back-Up Plan, we hardly knew ye)-- but that it was part of their strategy all along. They've also got the Dwayne Johnson vehicle Faster coming this fall, and if that movie and this one manage to hit, CBS could be transformed from some struggling enterprise to the new Lionsgate for cheap, dumb action movies. Well, they're claiming The Mechanic is secretly a "character piece," but so long as they don't mention that to the audience that just wants to see Statham crack skulls, they should be fine.
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Staff Writer at CinemaBlend