Why Didn’t Jason Statham Remake His Role In The Transporter Reboot?

It’s been 20 years since the debut of “The Transporter,” the 2002 action film that launched Jason Statham’s career. Statham’s breakthrough performances as an actor came in two Guy Ritchie-directed crime flicks, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch,” which were released in 1998 and 2000, respectively. However, Statham was still wearing a trench coat in those flicks, and it wasn’t until “The Transporter,” in which he pulled off his shirt and flaunted his muscles in an oil fight, that he fully established himself as an action icon.

Staham would return to the role of Frank Martin, the eponymous hired driver, in two further films, “The Transporter 2” and “The Transporter 3,” which were released in 2005 and 2008, respectively. However, when the franchise’s inevitable relaunch arrived, Ed Skrein would take over the part, having left HBO’s “Game of Thrones” to act in “The Transporter Refueled” in 2015. Statham stated why the “Transporter” series continued without him in an interview with Vulture that year, saying:

It’s reasonable that Jason Statham would be apprehensive to sign another three-movie commitment without being allowed to read a screenplay, and when you add in the apparent lowball salary offer he received on top of that, no one can blame him for wanting to leave the “Transporter” franchise. Hearing an actor admit that declining a job was a calculated economic move rather than one motivated solely by artistic reasons only serves to demonstrate that Hollywood is as much a business as it is a creative enterprise.

Statham went on to blend his star power with that of other action heroes in franchises like “The Expendables” and “Fast & Furious,” after graduating from the “Transporter” trilogy. In some respects, it was the inevitable culmination of an early bit of shared-universe fun Statham had when he appeared in Michael Mann’s “Collateral” as his “Transporter” character, presenting a briefcase to Tom Cruise’s hit guy.

Things worked out for Statham, and who knows, maybe he’ll reprise his role as Frank Martin in the future, even if it’s just in a car commercial like the one for BMW that spawned the “Transporter” series in the first place.

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