As previously reported, Simon West and Jason Statham are reuniting, post-The Mechanic and Expendables 2, for a remake of Heat (the Burt Reynolds one, not the Michael Mann one). And it appears the pair may now have their leading lady, in the not-unpleasing form of Sofia Vergara.
Originally a project to be directed by Brian De Palma, Heat was inherited by West last November, but the screenplay remains the one by William Goldman, based on his 1985 novel (published in the UK as Edged Weapons). The 1986 film version went through an incredible five directors, including Robert Altman, who only stayed a day. The result was, predictably, not a success, so for all concerned, and especially Goldman, perhaps this is less a remake, and more an opportunity to get it right this time.
The story involves Statham as an ex-gambler turned bodyguard in Las Vegas, who provides expensive protection to playas that can afford him, and prefers knives and fists over guns as his professional weapons of choice. When a particular friend of his is almost killed in a beating from a mobster, he takes personal affront and vows revenge.
Vergara's potential role - which she's in talks for but not officially attached to quite yet - is that special friend on the receiving end of the initial attack. It would be a more serious role for Vergara, who's currently best known for TV's Modern Family and whose most recent film roles have been The Smurfs 1 and 2, New Year's Eve and The Three Stooges. But if her Heat role sounds like a generic female victim in a male-oriented action movie, she can at least console herself with apparently getting to kick somewhat more ass in Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills.
Heat starts shooting in Louisiana in April. Statham's latest, Parker, is out in the UK today, with Hummingbird due on May 13, and Homefront later in the year.