British thesp Skrein previously starred in Ben Drew’s critically acclaimed crime drama “Ill Manors.”
“We searched everywhere to find a fresh face who had the potential to become an action movie star and we’ve found the right match with Ed Skrein, who’s not only a great actor but also has enough charisma and physical stamina to play Frank Martin (the ‘Transporter’s’ leading role) with brio,” EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert told Variety.
Bill Collage and Adam Cooper, who previously collaborated on the Jonah Hill starrer “Accepted” and Brett Ratner’s “Tower Heist,” penned the script.
Although plot details are still kept under wraps, Lambert said the first installment of “Transporter” reboot will return to the French Riviera, site of the first pic. He said the writers have given more depth to the character of Frank Martin, whose job is to transport goods and ask no questions. For instance, the movie will explore Martin’s relationship with his father, whose role will be played by a prominent thesp.
The new “Transporter” trilogy is helmed by “Brick Mansion” director Camille Delamarre.
Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp is producing with Mark Gao’s Fundamental Films, which will release the movies in China. The two companies signed an output deal in July 2012.
Budgeted in the $30 million range, the next “Transporter” has been pre-bought by Universum and RTL for Germany, Belgium’s Belga Films, Golf for the Middle East, as well as Portugal’s Lusomundo. Gaul’s commercial net TF1 and pay TV Canal Plus have also picked up rights to the film.
Marie-Laure Montironi, topper of EuropaCorp’s international sales, said the company was discussing with a bevy of buyers and is still exploring options on a U.S. distribution deal.
The first and second “Transporter” pics, helmed by Louis Leterrier, grossed $43.9 million and $85.1 million worldwide, respectively, and were distributed in multiple territories by Fox. The third opus, directed by Olivier Megaton and handled by Lionsgate, grossed $108.9 million.
Production on the next “Transporter” will begin in June.