Taylor Hackford to direct Westlake noir

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Statham is in negotiations to star in the thriller “Parker” with Taylor Hackford directing for Sierra/Affinity, Incentive Filmed Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

Hackford will produce along with Steven Chasman, Les Alexander, Sidney Kimmel and Jonathan Mitchell from a script by John J. McLaughlin, who most recently co-penned “Black Swan.”

Pic, based on the book series by Donald Westlake, revolves around a thief who, though at times is forced to be a killer, still lives by a code of honor that includes never stealing money from people who need it. His word is his bond, and if he is crossed he will strike back relentlessly.

Sierra/Affinity, Incentive and Kimmel will finance the film, with Sierra handling worldwide distribution rights, which the company will be shopping at the Cannes Film Festival.

Having never done a genre piece before, Hackford said he thought “Parker” was the perfect project to make as his first pic in the film noir realm.

“I don’t want to get stuck in a genre,” Hackford told Variety. “What I like the most about this piece of material is that you can take a genre piece like this and turn it into a great movie.”

Statham was most recently seen in “The Mechanic,” and Hackford most recently directed “Love Ranch,” with Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci.

Statham is repped by CAA, Ace Media and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman.

Hackford is repped by CAA, and McLaughlin is repped WME.

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