Actor in final talks to star in thriller
LONDON — Jason Statham is in final negotiations to star in “Blitz,” a London-set thriller about a serial killer targeting police officers.Lionsgate U.K. is fully financing the project, which is an adaptation of Ken Bruen’s bestseller of the same name. Mandate Intl. will handle international sales. “Blitz” will be Lionsgate U.K.’s first British project since it announced its plans to beef up its local production last year. It will also mark the first collaboration between Statham and Lionsgate U.K. since last year’s “The Bank Job,” which was a hit at the Blighty box office. Statham will play a tough, uncompromising cop assigned the task of tracking down the killer. Paddy Considine will play his partner. Nathan Parker wrote the script; Elliott Lester is directing. Lionsgate U.K. topper Zygi Kamasa, Steve Chasman, Brad Wyman and Donald Kushner are producing. Project begins lensing Aug. 10 in London. “Jason and I are excited about the opportunity to be working here again as we are keen to continue supporting British films,” Chasman said. While its U.S.-based parent company has been the subject of boardroom unrest with speculation over the intentions of shareholder and corporate raider Carl Icahn, Lionsgate U.K. has been gradually ramping up its production activities. Lionsgate U.K. projects in the hopper include the $15 million contemporary sci-fi thriller “83,” which Noel Clarke will write, direct and star in; and laffer “Stiff,” from “Borat” writer Dan Mazer and producer Andrea Calderwood about a 1980s rock star who falls into a coma on stage and wakes up 20 years later.