Jason Statham made two abrupt exits this week -- he dropped out of The Man From Toronto with Kevin Hart, just weeks before production was meant to start, and he also left his agency WME. It's a career clearance sale!
What's going on? Well, Jason Statham was supposed to star in the action comedy The Man From Toronto with Kevin Hart, with production starting in 4-6 weeks. According to Deadline, Sony wants to keep Kevin Hart in the movie so the call is already out to an actor -- not named -- that the studio hopes to land quickly.
The part to replace is The Man From Toronto himself. Jason Statham was meant to play the world's deadliest assassin, who teams up with New York's biggest screw-up (Kevin Hart) when they are mistaken for each other in a rented Airbnb.
Why did Jason Statham drop out? Sources told Deadline the actor had some creative differences with the studio, including wanting the movie to be rated R. Sony reportedly wanted a PG-13 rating more friendly to a November Thanksgiving holiday release date. (You'll recall Jason Statham also had blunt thoughts about Meg going with a PG-13 rating instead of the more bloody R-rated version he hoped for.)
Jason Statham also left WME right after exiting The Man From Toronto. Deadline reported that it was a mutual decision between WME and Statham, which is a bit of a surprise since WME lured him away from CAA just last year.
Jason Statham was expected to film The Man From Toronto right after Cash Truck, the Guy Ritchie movie that started filming in November. Now what? We'll see.
The Man From Toronto would've been a reunion for Jason Statham and Kevin Hart after Hart's surprise role in Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Hart is back at work after his major car accident, and this movie is still expected to be on his schedule, provided Sony can find somebody new fast enough. I'd suggest Dwayne Johnson, but he might still be busy with Netflix's Red Notice, his new movie with Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds. But The Rock can do nine million things at once, and he loves action comedies with Kevin Hart, so you never know.
Kevin Hart also has the movie Fatherhood scheduled for release in January 2021, after taking over the role from Channing Tatum. So maybe Tatum can make this come full circle and replace Jason Statham ... although, that's not quite a matching replacement, is it.
The Man From Toronto was reportedly scheduled for release on November 20, 2020, so we'll have to see if it keeps that date or not. Since No Time to Die just moved into that week, I'd say move Kevin Hart's action comedy, but that's me.
It sounds like the studio might already have a new actor in mind, but who would YOU pick to replace Jason Statham?