Casting Begins For Death Race 2

Anderson Feeds His Frankenstein

Fancy stepping into Jason Statham's shoes? Handy behind the wheel of a souped-up motor? Might be time to get yourself an agent then, as casting has just kicked off for Death Race: Frankenstein Lives, the sequel to last year's epic of twisted metal, burning rubber and unlikely plot contrivance.

Here's the plot description so far: "Newly arrived at Terminal Island, a prison for the most unredeemable [sic] of convicts, Carl 'Luke' Lucas must prove his mettle in a race to the death". Lucas is described in the casting notes as a "right-hand man to a notorious mobster for twelve years", given life-imprisonment for killing a cop in a botched bank robbery. He's offered a deal by the DA if he turns state's evidence, but opts to take his chances behind bars, resulting in VAROOOM and KERSMASH.

Initial talk was of a prequel, setting up the corrupt and lethal prison dragracing system into which The Stath was thrust last year, and chronicling the career of the original Frankenstein, following whose death Statham grudgingly donned the mask. The character of September Jones bears that out, as she's the "eye-poppingly gorgeous model turned journalist" who comes up with the Death Race concept when her Gladiators-type show starts to plummet in the ratings.

And get this: the owner of the TV network is one Douglas Weyland, of the Weyland Corporation. We're in the Alien universe, boys and girls! Who woulda thunk it?

We have, of course, Alien Vs. Predator mastermind Paul WS Anderson to thank for that one. He likes doing this - there are lots of clues in Soldier that it's in the same universe as Blade Runner.

Anderson's producing alongside Jeremy Bolt (The Resident Evils, Pandorum) and Mike Elliott (War, the remake of The Eye, Rob Zombie's films). Tony Giglio, who wrote and directed the troubled Statham / Snipes / Phillippe vehicle Chaos, is on the script. He's also second unit director of Resident Evil: Afterlife, so may yet land himself a gig behind the camera here, when shooting starts next February.