Jason Statham: action hero, one-time diver, Movie Poster Mash-Ups inspiration and now, a part of the Fast & Furious franchise, with the British star lined up to play a (possibly) villainous role in Fast & Furious 7.
So when Mr. Statham popping round last week to talk to the Empire Podcast team about his latest, Hummingbird, we took the time to talk to him about what's in store for fans of 'The Stath' in the next Furious "Mission In-freaking-sanity" (due out July 11, 2014).
But, as eagle-eared pod-listeners will have noticed, we didn't include what he said on the Fast franchise in the main podcast just in case anyone wasn't up to date with Fast Six, which hopefully you are if you're reading this. Here's what Statham had to say:
Have you been avoiding villain roles?
I didn’t really want to play the villain, but there are certain moments where you think it might be a good time to do that. I’m not saying I’m the full-blooded… I’m not going to tell you too much about what I’m going to do in the film, but if it’s a good villain, there’s obviously some consideration to be made, but there are some really bad villains out there, and I don’t want to get myself wet with that shit.
It’s just not written that well sometimes, and it’s always about the writing. So we’ll see. But I am excited to be a part of it, it’s got some of the best car action I have ever, ever seen. Justin Lin has just been exceptional with what he does with that vehicular action.
Statham vs. The Rock vs. Vin Diesel – will anyone be left standing by the end of it?
You said on the set of Hummingbird that you had read the script for Fast Six and it wasn’t good enough, so you passed on it. Then lo and behold, at the end of Fast Six… Jason Statham! Were you telling porkie pies back then?
You know what, it came later. At the time, it was not a bare-faced lie. (Laughs) I did say no, but then there was another sit-down, and next thing you know things had changed.
It was a great entrance in Fast Six though. When did you shoot that?
It was during the promotion of Expendables 2… We shot that when they were shooting in Pinewood. So I went over there one afternoon, killed a guy, threw a chain on the floor, made a phone call, left.
Perhaps the biggest thing to be taken from this is that Jason Statham's character - Ian Shaw, brother of Luke Evan's Owen Shaw - may not be an out-and-out villain as many have presumed. At least, not if you take Statham's half spoken sentence to heart (which really you shouldn't). The fact remains that The Stath doesn't really do The Villain, so if he is to play a bad guy, it's a safe bet it won't be too cut and dried, especially considering he's been back and forth on the role so much as the interview with Justin Lin below correlates.
One thing we do know is that Fast Seven is going to be set in Los Angeles for the most part, after producer-cum-star Vin Diesel told us as much earlier this year. Hopefully they'll sneak the mooted Great Wall Of China race in too, but that may have to wait...
Hummingbird is out this Friday, June 28. Fast & Furious 7, meanwhile, is out on July 11, 2014, and will be directed by franchise newcomer James Wan.