Having launched their careers together with the crime comedy caper Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels way back in 1998, director Guy Ritchie and action superstar Jason Statham are teaming up again for the spy thriller, Five Eyes. The project is being developed under Miramax, with principal photography set to commence in Europe in October.

Five Eyes finds Jason Statham in typical gruff-talking, action hero territory as the character Orson Fortune, an MI6 guns-and-steel agent who is "recruited by global intelligence alliance Five Eyes to track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology that threatens to disrupt the world order.

Reluctantly paired with CIA high-tech expert Sarah Fidel, Fortune sets off on a globe-trotting mission where he will have to use all of his charm, ingenuity and stealth to track down and infiltrate billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds." The movie sounds like the perfect combination of odd-couple banter and explosive, fist-throwing action that audiences all know Statham can do in his sleep. There is no word yet on who will be joining Statham as the CIA's Sarah Fidel.

In a statement, Miramax CEO Bill Block who praised the reunited pairing of Statham with director Guy Ritchie saying, "Guy Ritchie's Five Eyes is his next collaboration with Jason, commencing with Snatch, following the upcoming film, Wrath of Man and the global success of The Gentlemen, in partnership with STXfilms. We're excited to be reunited with the STX team, as well as Ritchie and Statham whose undeniable chemistry, philosophy and talent will surely attract a massive appeal from audiences worldwide."

STXfilms Motion Picture Group Chairman Adam Fogelson added, "Jason is a global box office heavy weight, and when teamed with Guy Ritchie, that's an irresistible combination. It's a thrill to be back in business with Guy, Bill and the team at Miramax after our shared success on The Gentlemen and we believe Five Eyes is the kind of film our partners overseas will love as much as we do."

Over the years, Jason Statham has become one of Hollywood's most valuable action stars thanks to his no-nonsense, stereotypically testosterone-fuelled movies flying the flag for old school, 1980s-style action movie output. Statham's roles in the likes of Crank and The Transporter have led to the actor being given bigger budgets with which to ply his trade, with Statham last seen facing off against a giant shark in The Meg, before taking on an equally intimidating behemoth in the shape of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is the Fast and Furious spin-off, Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw.

Ritchie meanwhile will be directing Five Eyes from a screenplay written by Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, who penned Ritchie's last movie, the action comedy The Gentlemen. Following an American expat who tries to sell off his highly profitable marijuana empire in London, The Gentlemen features the tangled web of plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail that Ritchie has become known for, and will likely litter the plot of Five Eyes.

Having charmed audiences with the gangster hits Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, as well as baffling them with the 2005 crime thriller Revolver, it will be interesting to see what Statham and Ritchie can bring to the spy genre with Five Eyes. This comes to us from Variety.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge