While we’ll give some credit to Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), there’s no denying The Transporter franchise was what really catapulted Jason Statham into mainstream stardom and the cemented his status as a modern action star. So why did the man behind former special-operations mercenary Frank Martin walk away from making The Transporter 5 around the same time he was committing to The Expendables 3 (2014), Fast & Furious 7 (2015), as well as Mechanic: Resurrection (2016)?
Back in 2013, The Hollywood Reporter reported EuropaCorp and Fundamental Films would co-finance, produce, and distribute three instalments in The Transporter franchise post T3. The projects were assigned budgets ranging from US$30 million to US$40 million / AU$42 million to AU$56 million, with at least one of the films “likely to be set in China.” But as far as we can tell, apart from a single film fronted by an entirely different actor released in 2015 – more on this later – the Frank Martin saga is seemingly dead in the water.
Here’s everything we know about The Transporter 5.
Everything We Know About The Transporter 5
Never Change The Deal
As it so happens, before the services of Game of Thrones alum Ed Skrein was enlisted for the soft-reboot The Transporter Refuelled circa 2015, the Stath was offered The Transporter 4 (which eventually became Refuelled), The Transporter 5, as well as The Transporter 6. The was just one problem. Well, two actually.
“You know what? It was obviously a great experience doing those films, and I would have loved to keep doing it,” Jason Statham explains during an interview with Vulture.
“But they wanted me to sign on and do three more movies without even seeing a script, and they offered me less money to do three than I’d get paid for one! So it was a business decision.”
“I would have loved to have done it, but you can’t really sign on without doing a script, and to sign on for three of them? And to get paid a pittance? I just couldn’t see the value in that.”
A Good Reason For Walking Away From This Package
As low brow as his filmography might be – let’s not pretend Crank: High Voltage (2009), Gnomeo & Juliet (2011), or The Meg (2018) were robbed of any cinematic accolades – it’s more than understandable why Jason Statham would be unwilling to stake his reputation, plus the legacy of Frank Martin, on three potentially sub-par movies starting with The Transporter 5. And for pennies on the dollar, no less.
Imagine having to sit there after years of soullessly shooting The Transporter film after The Transporter film, dreading release date after release date, all the media promotion involved to sell how the filmmaking philosophy has changed, about how Frank Martin has kinda evolved. It’s practically the seventh circle of Hell.
I guess when all is said and done, there are only so many in-movie missions you can watch a former special-operations mercenary turned kickboxing courier embark upon before the services you’ll be requesting involves a bullet to your own head. Just look at what they did to Fast & Furious and Taken.
So That’s It… No Transporter 5 Release Date? No More Transporter, Period?
At the time of this writing: yes. It appears as though Ed Skrein isn’t too keen on The Transporter 5, either.
But fear not. The beauty of being a fan of the Stath is you can watch him portray the exact same character in all his other movies. Bonus points if it’s being directed by Guy Ritchie. God bless, Guy Ritchie. God bless any film made by Guy Ritchie. Even Wrath of Man.
In fact, the dynamic duo have a spy movie in cinemas right now entitled Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre starring the don himself, Aubrey Plaza, Josh Hartnett, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone, and Hugh Grant.
Check out the plot synopsis + movie below.
Super spy Orson Fortune and his team of top operatives recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star, Danny Francesco, to help them on an undercover mission to stop billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds from selling a deadly new weapons technology that threatens to disrupt the world order.