Jason Statham on ‘Hobbs and Shaw’, David Leitch’s “Gritty, Real, and Fucking Hardcore” Film

Jason Statham has been a one-man action-movie machine for 20 years now, but in the upcoming Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw, he’ll team up the force of nature that is Dwayne Johnson. (Sorry, bad guys.) So while we have just over a year or so to wait before the duo unites on the big screen, we’ve now got some early insight as to how Statham’s character Deckard Shaw will be handled this time around and just what kind of tone you can expect for Hobbs and Shaw.

During the press tour for the upcoming creature feature The Meg, our own Steven Weintraub got a chance to chat with Statham 1-on-1 to talk about going up against the prehistoric title shark. But during that exchange, he also snuck in a few questions regarding Universal Pictures’ Hobbs and Shaw, and Statham provided him with some telling answers. Statham talks about his opinion of stunt performer-turned-director David Leitch and his approach to the film, and how they plan to round out Deckard Shaw’s familial relationships in this movie, including the return of Helen Mirren as his mother and the possible casting of Vanessa Kirby as Shaw’s sister. See what he had to say below!

Collider: I heard you guys will be filming in London and Hawaii. How long are you shooting for? Is it one of these five, six month things?

JASON STATHAM: God knows. Most of it’s in London and then there’s a portion in Hawaii that we already know about.

Image via Universal Pictures

I love the Fast movies; they’re a blast. One of the things I’ve found as the movies have gone on though is the characters seem to become more and more of a superhero. You can hit Dwayne with a ladder and he just stands right up. I’m curious, with Hobbs and Shaw is it a little bit more grounded or is it having the fun of the last Fast and Furious?

STATHAM:  I think Dave Leitch’s taste is a little more grounded and a little darker. If you see Atomic Blonde, and it is just superb, his taste is definitely in a world that is sort of how you described it. I think he’s looking to do something that doesn’t look exactly like a Fast movie. Although it’s the Fast characters, he’s trying to do his own thing with it and give it a real sense of credibility. I think Dave is going to get this one gritty, and real, and fucking hardcore.

I love David. I think he’s a very talented director and he’s especially talented at crafting action. Like what he did with Chad [Stahelski] in John Wick, what he did in Deadpool 2Atomic Blonde [and] that staircase sequence. He crafts great action.

STATHAM: He’s brilliant.

Have you already been preparing action for Hobbs and Shaw

STATHAM: I’ve been down the gym. I’ve been fight training. I’m about to land in London and that’s where all of the choreography is all going to start coming out. I haven’t had a taste of it yet but I know he’s thorough. He knows what we’re going to do. He never wings it. He got every shot down in detail before he does it. I worked with Dave many years ago. I had a fight with him on a bus in The Mechanic. He plays a bad guy. He comes in and we’re at this bus stop and I throw him out the window and lands on the ground and gets fucking run over.

Image via Universal

He’s a great guy. He’s a stunt man and he knows what it takes. I think the advantage he has is, the way they work, they do these pre-visualizations. They film everything so they know every single shot and what the best angle is to create this fucking symphony of brilliant action. I love that. Most of the guys that I’ve worked with that don’t do that just fall flat on their face when they want to do something good. They run out of time. They don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know what the shots are. The cameraman doesn’t know how to shoot action so he’s … not panning when he should.

This guy won’t miss a single thing. He’s really efficient and he really cares about the characters. We’re trying to build out my [character’s] relationship with my sister and with my mother and what that means. What my relationship is with Idris and all these other things. He really cares a lot. He’s on the phone all the time and he’s always there and we’re trying to do something really good.

Vanessa Kirby told me a few weeks ago she hadn’t officially signed on yet so I’m hoping it works out. One of the things she mentioned was that Helen Mirren was going to be in the movie. 

STATHAM: We’re trying to do something that isn’t so goofy though. I know the last time she slapped me around the face and we got this little … We don’t want to take it too seriously. I’m not the director so I’m not the one controlling the tone of the movie but we want to have some meaningful stuff in it as well as the fun. At the end of the day we want to have the laughs. We want to tear each other apart. We want to enjoy it. This has to be a ride. I guess you’ve got to have the whole package.

Image via Universal Pictures

I think Dave’s aiming for that. He wants to have the raucous laughs, the funny shit, the intense action and the great drama and the meaningful stuff. Dwayne’s got his relationship with his mother and the daughter. There’s loads of good stuff in it. I’m fucking excited.

For more on Hobbs and Shaw, opening July 26, 2019, be sure to take a look at our recent write-ups below. Look for Steve’s full interview with Jason Statham soon.

Image via Universal Pictures

Image via Universal Pictures

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