'Death Race' Remake Picks Its Female Lead


A relative unknown has been tapped to star opposite Jason Statham in "Death Race."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Natalie Martinez is in negotiations to play the female lead in Paul W.S. Anderson's remake of Roger Corman's "Death Race 2000."

The trade paper suggests a fairly revised version of the 1975 original. The plot now seems to focus on prison inmates forced to compete in a brutal enclosed road race, with Statham as crowd favorite Frankenstein.

Martinez would play Case, Frankenstein's assigned navigator and eventual accomplice in a daring prison break.

"Event Horizon" and "Alien vs. Predator" helmer Anderson has somehow attracted a cast that also includes Joan Allen, Ian McShane and Tyrese Gibson.

Production will begin later this month in Montreal with Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner's C/W Prods. banner producing for Universal.

Unless you happen to have been a big fan of MyNetworkTV's "Fashion House" or "Saints & Sinners," you may not recognize Martinez. This would be the first feature for the former model on Jennifer Lopez's clothing line.

Martinez had a brief involvement with NBC's "Chuck," but is no long attached to the Monday night action-comedy.

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