Jason Statham doesn’t play it safe


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EXCLUSIVE: Few things gets women filmgoers going like watching Jason Statham tear it up on the big screen.
Now it looks like they’ll have yet another chance -- with a twist. In a project that has to be one of the more unusual marriages in the history of film collaborations, Statham is joining with producer Lawrence Bender and the auteur Boaz Yakin for a new thriller called ‘Safe.’

Yakin has been responsible for a number of commercial movies -- like ‘Remember the Titans,’ which he directed, and the upcoming Jake Gyllenhaal action epic ‘The Prince of Persia,’ which he co-wrote. But he’s also dabbled in artier fare, like an edgy Sundance movie called ‘Death in Love’ from a few years back.


Bender is best known as the longtime producer of Quentin Tarantino, most recently producing his ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ All of which makes a collaboration with Statham, who again plays the action card in the upcoming ‘The Expendables’ all the more notable, weird and interesting.

Statham has to be the hardest-working actor, action or otherwise, out there right now -- it the last few years alone he’s starred in movies in the Crank and Transporter franchises and one-offs like ‘Death Race’ and ‘The Bank Job.’ He’ll also be in upcoming action tales ‘Blitz’ and ‘The Killer Elite.’

‘Safe’ is one of the projects that international film sales and financing company IM Global, which announced this morning that it is receiving a significant investment from Reliance Big Entertainment, will be taking to the Cannes market. It will be a busy time for IM Global, which will also sell John Cusack’s thriller ‘The Factory’ and a Kevin Costner passion project with echoes of ‘Inglourious Basterds’ at the festival. The company should see plenty of interest on those, as well as on ‘Safe.’ Foreign distributors go almost as crazy for Statham as the women do.

--Steven Zeitchik

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