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Not that Jason Statham could ever be replaced, but plans for a rebooted Transporter series recently were unveiled, and it seems the producers already have gone ahead and cast a younger actor in the lead.
Ed Skrein, the British actor who plays Daario Naharis on HBO’s smash hit Game of Thrones, landed the key role of the new Transporter in the reboot, Variety reports. The actor’s previous credits include the TV series The Tunnel, as well as the upcoming epic Northmen: A Viking Saga. On the casting, EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert said to the trade:
"We searched everywhere to find a fresh face who had the potential to become an action movie star and we’ve found the right match with Ed Skrein, who’s not only a great actor but also has enough charisma and physical stamina to play Frank Martin (the ‘Transporter’s’ leading role) with brio."
The Transporter came out in 2002. Directed by Corey Yuen, the film cast Statham as a man assigned to deliver mysterious packages without asking questions. After a while, he asks questions, and all hell breaks loose.
A few details on the reboot have surfaced with this casting story. The action in the new movie will return to the French Riviera, where the first movie took place. This will be a younger version of Frank, though the writers reportedly have expanded on his back story, and will explore a relationship he has with his father, who Variety says will be played by "a prominent thesp."
How is that role not going to Statham?
Ironically, the Transporter movies grew in size and stature as they went. By the time they got to the third one, Lionsgate had a sequel that raced past the $108-million mark. By that time, though, Statham was knee deep in action-jokey franchises (remember the Crank movies?), and he wanted to test his acting chops. Which explains Homefront. I’m kidding.
The rebooted Transporter will begin filming in June, according to reports. Could it be in theaters as early as next summer? If so, it will compete against Statham’s latest project, the seventh Fast & Furious movie. If I’m the Transporter team, I’m coming out on the same damn weekend as Fast 7. To be the best, you better beat the best, right? Until then, here’s a clip of Skrein in a Thrones scene. What do you think of the hire?