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Just last night we learned that Jason Statham is in the mix of creating a new franchise for himself, now attached to star in The Mechanic 2, but today arrives news that he is leaving another one behind. Luc Besson's production company EuropaCorp has announced that they will be moving forward with yet another film in the Transporter series, but that Statham won't return and that the sequel will actually end up being more of a reboot.
The news comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which says that there are now being plans made for a brand new trilogy of Transporter films that will actually serve as a prequel to the original trilogy and tell anti-hero Frank Martin's origin story. The movie will be co-produced by Shanghai's Fundamental Films, but at this time it doesn't sound like the studios have found either a writer or a director for the project.
While Statham has since been a part of franchises like The Expendables, Crank and Fast & Furious, the Transporter movies were really where his career as an action star was launched, and it's almost a shame he is moving on. The films aren't spectacular by any means, but I would categorize them as guilty pleasures - say what you will, but it's a lot of fun to watch Statham kick ass. You can relive some of the greatest hits of the series with the trailers below.
In addition to continuing life as a franchise of feature films, the Transporter also continues to live on the small screen. In 2011 Cinemax debuted a new show based on the action movie series starring Chris Vance. While it has yet to have a second season, that will change this Fall when it moves to TNT.
What's interesting about the reboot/origin story direction for the Transporter franchise is that it didn't exactly start with an old hero. Statham was only 35 when he played Frank Martin for the first time, and if the studios looking to create some distance between the new trilogy and the old one they will have to make him considerably younger. Does this mean that the new franchise will focus on a early-20s Frank? If so, who do you get that can be a young Jason Statham?