The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog announced today that actor Sean Bean will be joining Luke Goss in Universal’s Death Race: Frankenstein Lives, a sequel/prequel to the car-racing action flick by Paul W.S. Anderson.
As reported previously, the new movie, produced by Anderson and directed by Dutch filmmaker Roel Reine, focuses on the original Frankenstein (Goss) that Jason Statham’s character took over the role of in the previous Death Race entry. Bean joins Lauren Cohan, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo and Frederick Koehler on the project. Written by Tony Giglio, the latest lap in the Death Race franchise is being included as part of Universal’s DVD Originals banner, a line of original home entertainment films that includes the recently released Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassin’s Ball.
Universal has sent out a press release announcing the start of principal photography and with new casting info. Hit the jump to read the release and for thoughts on the newest contestant joining the Death Race.
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY FOR DEATH RACE 2 BEGINS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Universal City, California, March 1, 2010 – Start your engines…and load your weapons. The explosive, all-new high-octane Death Race 2 began principal photography on February 13, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. The spectacular prequel to Paul W.S. Anderson’s audacious re-imagining of the Roger Corman cult classic stars Luke Goss (Hellboy 2: The Golden Army), Ving Rhames (Con Air, Pulp Fiction), Sean Bean (National Treasure, Lord of the Rings trilogy), Danny Trejo (Planet Terror, “Burn Notice“), Frederick Koehler (“Oz,” “Touching Evil”) and Lauren Cohan (“Supernatural”) and promises even more outrageously outfitted muscle cars and death-defying stunts in a deadly driving competition. Director Roel Reiné (The Marine 2, The Lost Tribe) takes the helm of the adrenaline-fueled chronicle of Frankenstein, the greatest Death Race driver of all time, in an all-out thrill ride through a dystopian future.
The screenplay is by Tony Giglio (Chaos), from a story by Paul W.S. Anderson. A top-flight production team has also been assembled, including director of photography John McKay, production designer Johnny Breedt, editor Josh Galvin and costume designer Moira Meyer.
The latest in the hugely successful line of DVD OriginalsTM from Universal Studios Home Entertainment Productions, Death Race 2 is produced by Paul W.S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt and executive produced by Paula Wagner and Mike Elliott. Death Race 2 is an official South African/German Co-Production, produced in South Africa by Universal Pictures Productions GmbH and Moonlighting Death Race Films C.C. and co-produced by Genevieve Hofmeyr and Ralph Tuebben.
Since its introduction in 2005, Universal’s extensive DVD OriginalsTM slate of new live-action and animated content has dominated sales charts, scored impressive ratings on television network and cable outlets, performed successfully in multi-international markets and helped to shape the made-for-DVD arena. The high profile string of hits includes multiple installments of the powerhouse Bring It On and American Pie franchises as well as the epic saga Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior and most recently the explosive action release, Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball .
Death Race 2 takes place in the very near future, as the United States economy begins to decline and violent crime starts to spiral out of control. To contain the growing criminal population, a vast network of for-profit, private prisons springs up, creating a lawless subculture ruled by gangs, cold-blooded killers and sociopaths. The worst of these prisons is Terminal Island. Convicted cop-killer Carl Lucas arrives on the Island to serve his life sentence just as ruthlessly ambitious television personality September Jones launches the ultimate reality show, Death Race. A brutal prison yard demolition derby that pits prisoners against each other in steel reinforced, heavily armed vehicles, Death Race offers the winner the ultimate prize: freedom – if he can survive to enjoy it. When Lucas signs up to be a driver, the stage is set for the birth of a legendary racer.
As I mentioned previously, the idea of a Death Race franchise makes perfect sense in the high-octane action flick sort of way. While the latest news doesn’t make it a guaranteed purchase, the addition of Bean certainly heightens the film’s chance of moving to the top of my Netflix Queue. Bean is a phenomenal actor, and while he often takes on roles that seem like a waste of talent, he’s absolutely brilliant in pretty much everything he does. Hell, his portrayal of Odysseus in Troy made the butchering Homer’s poem almost acceptable.