Brian De Palma is set to direct Jason Statham in a new adaptation of William Goldman‘s novel/screenplay Heat. The action-thriller will have Statham (his role originally played by Burt Reynolds) playing a recovering gambling addict who works protection gigs to pay the bills. He refuses to use guns in dealing with foes and resorts to using his fists and edged weapons (Statham-y!). When his friend is beaten by a high-roller, he helps her get revenge, which puts him in even more danger. I bet he’ll decide to pick up a gun at some point.
Considering that Statham only plays one character (gritty tough guy), it will be interesting to see if De Palma can get a different performance out of him or if the actor will simply be a tool for an exciting action flick. The last De Palma flick to hit theaters was 2007′s Redacted, but he’s currently at work on the thriller Passion starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace. Statham will be seen later this year in Safe, The Expendables 2 and Parker. Filming on Heat is set to begin in France in late 2012 or early 2013. Hit the jump for the press release.
Here’s the press release:
JASON STATHAM TO RETEAM WITH SIERRA / AFFINITY AND STAR IN HEAT
Film To Be Directed By Brian De Palma From A Screenplay By Oscar®-Winning Screenwriter William Goldman
LOS ANGELES, CA February 8, 2012 – Sierra / Affinity announced today that they will commence sales efforts in Berlin on the remake of the 1987 feature film HEAT with Jason Statham set to star and Brian De Palma directing the action film from a script adapted by two-time Oscar® winner William Goldman. Goldman also wrote the original screenplay of the 1987 version of the film which starred Burt Reynolds. Both the modern take as well as the film from the 80’s are based on Goldman’s novel of the same title. Steven Chasman will produce alongside Statham. HEAT will commence principal photography in France in late 2012 or early 2013.
This tightly-wound, fun action-thriller, tells the story of a tough recovering gambling addict (Statham) who makes his living providing protection in the rough edges of the gambling world. Statham’s character refuses to resort to gunplay, strictly using hand and edged weapon combat. When a dear friend is brutally beaten by a high-rolling mobster, he helps her get her revenge and he ends up in more trouble than he ever imagined.
Sierra’s Nick Meyer says “We are pleased to once again be working with Jason and Steve on another project which in this case is based on great source material from a rare combination of an acclaimed novelist who is also at the top of his game as a screenwriter. We look forward to bringing this elevated action-thriller from Brian De Palma to distributors around the world. We feel this project has it all—a first rate piece of material, a legendary director and a global action star.”
Later this year Statham will be seen in Sierra / Affinity and Incentive Filmed Entertainment’s highly anticipated release of PARKER which comes to theatres on October 12, 2012. Statham’s other film credits include THE TRANSPORTER series, THE EXPENDABLES, CRANK, THE MECHANIC, and THE BANK JOB.
De Palma’s directing credits include the seminal films MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, THE UNTOUCHABLES, CARLITO’S WAY and SCARFACE.
Chasman’s credits include PARKER, THE BANK JOB, and THE TRANSPORTER 1, 2 & 3.
Goldman has written numerous films including those that won the Academy Award® for best screenplay, ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, as well as other screenplays for the films MARATHON MAN, DREAMCATCHER and ABSOLUTE POWER among others.
Statham and Goldman are represented by CAA. De Palma is represented by ICM.