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Simon West’s remake of the 1986 film Heat, with Jason Statham in the Burt Reynolds role, is ramping up production by adding even more supporting cast members. Earlier we reported that West has recruited Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia in a supporting role. Today, three more high-profile character actors have joined the cast as production rolls along in New Orleans.
Deadline reports that Statham will be joined by Stanley Tucci, Anne Heche and Cedric the Entertainer in the action thriller. Heat has nothing to do with Michael Mann’s police procedural with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Instead, it is based on a William Goldman novel that casts the Transporter star as an ex-mercenary and a gambling addict working as a bodyguard in Las Vegas.
No mention on whom the new additions will be playing in West’s film. Previous cast members include Sophia Vergara and Michael Angarano, so West has a formidable cast with which to work.
But most of Heat hangs on Statham. The action star has had success lately as a member of Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables crew, and he’s rumored to join the Fast & Furious crew next month. But standalone efforts like Parker and Safe have failed to light it up at the box office. Heat wasn’t a blockbuster for Reynolds, and might seem like an odd feature for Statham to dig up from the past in hopes of finding a hit for himself. But perhaps he and West connected on a theme while working on The Expendables 2, and it generated enough of a spark for them to commit to making this their next picture.
Statham acts as a producer on Heat, which Goldman wrote again for the remake. The production expects to move to Las Vegas soon.