Jason Statham became one of the biggest action stars in show business but denied returning to the biggest action franchise he has ever been in.
It’s hard to believe that between the time of 2002’s The Transporter and now, babies have been born and are almost legally allowed to pull up a seat at a bar and order a pint of suds. That’s how long it’s been since Jason Statham made his name synonymous as an action hero in the big-budget flick that would turn into a major fan-favorite franchise. Playing the role in the premiere film’s follow ups, Transporter 2 and Transporter 3, which made their debuts in 2005 and 2008, respectively, it seemed like there was no other man able to fill in the shoes of the franchise’s leading character, Frank Martin. But, when the time came for another film to be made in 2015, Statham was nowhere to be found.
While he would ultimately be replaced by Game of Thrones actor, Ed Skrein, who played Daario Naharis in the third season of the fantasy hit, Jason Statham was given the chance to sit back down in the driver’s seat in the action-packed franchise but decided to pass it up. While we never fully knew the reason behind Statham’s departure from the films, we do now. Recently, during an interview with Vulture, the action star revealed that he didn’t return for several reasons – all of which are completely legit. For one thing, the studio was going to offer the man less money! After the insane success of the first three pieces, anyone would be an idiot to accept a lower cut knowing what the production would earn. Further insulting their original leading man, the studio wouldn’t let him see the script before signing on for a three-movie deal. That’s a lot of bs to throw at someone who made the movies a hit in the first place.
As humble and genuine as ever, Jason Statham did add that his time playing Frank Martin was “a great experience” and that he “would have loved to keep doing it.” But we absolutely understand why he called it quits. And, quite frankly, what a great decision on Statham’s part. While he had some other solid roles in films such as The Italian Job in between shooting The Transporter franchise, his career really took off after his final bow as Frank Martin.
In 2010, Jason Statham would land the role of Lee Christmas in The Expendables. The beginning of something truly beautiful for Statham and a slew of other action stars attached to the production, the fourth installation in the action-packed film series will be making its way to theaters later this year. He’s also broken into another blockbuster juggernaut, Fast & Furious, where his character Deckard Shaw has appeared (so far) in four films even nabbing his own spinoff feature alongside fellow Fast star, Dwayne Johnson. While we may need to wait a bit longer for The Expendables 4 to crash into theaters, we can soon expect to see Statham in other projects including Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, Meg 2: The Trench, and The Bee Keeper.
At the end of the day, were we bummed to see Jason Statham turn down the opportunity to return to The Transporter franchise? Sure. But, like most things in life, when something isn’t the right fit for you, it’s probably because there’s something better just around the corner. As for Statham, his lengthy and celebrated career since Transporter 3 is proof of exactly that.