How have Jason Statham and Kevin Hart not already starred in a film together? The former is one of our most dependable action stars, moving briskly from his indie breakout in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels to massive big-budget actioners like Hobbes & Shaw. And the latter is one of our most dependable comedy stars, having especially found a niche appearing in Dwayne Johnson-starring action-comedies like Central Intelligence, and the newly rebooted Jumanji franchise. Now, it looks like these stars may finally be aligning — and Hart may be trading in a Johnson for a Statham. Per Deadline, the two are in talks to star in an original action-comedy for Sony: The Man from Toronto.
The premise sounds pitch-perfect for this duo: “The man from Toronto” is the alias for one of the world’s most vicious assassins (Statham, presumably). And Teddy (Hart) is… kind of a screw-up. But when the two are caught in a row of mistaken identities in an Airbnb, they must join forces and save the world — while trying not to kill each other in the process. The film will be directed by Patrick Hughes, who previously worked with Statham on The Expendables 3 and directed the surprise smash action-comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard, with similar odd couple Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds. The Man from Toronto‘s script comes from Robbie Fox (Playing for Keeps) with a story by Jason Blumenthal (The Equalizer 2), who also produces alongside Todd Black (The Magnificent Seven), Steve Tisch (Southpaw), and Bill Bannerman (Bad Boys for Life).
Does this sound like a vehicle that will revamp how we see Statham and Hart as performers? Absolutely not — instead, it sounds like a fun piece of Hollywood entertainment that will fit perfectly in their pockets. For those who like their particular charms, The Man from Toronto will likely be catnip. At the very least, it represents an ongoing realization that audiences these days are digging “original star-driven action-comedies.”
The Man from Toronto is scheduled to be released November 20, 2020. For more on Hart, check out the trailer for his Netflix documentary. And for more on Statham, check out my appreciation of one of his wildest flicks ever: Revolver.