An adaptation of an action-thriller book that has been in development for over 20 years may now finally see the light of day, thanks to star Jason Statham and director D.J. Caruso. Statham is in talks to star in Killer's Game, with STX Films in talks to finance and distribute the film, with D.J. Caruso set to take the helm. Steve Richards of Endurance Media and Andrew Lazar of Mad Chance will produce, although there is no word on who will write the screenplay adaptation just yet. Over the past 20 years, there have been more than a few well-known writers, directors, and stars who have tried to bring this project to the big screen.
Killer's Game is based on the novel of the same by Jay Bonansinga, which was published in 1997, and Hollywood was seeking this project even before it was published. The story centers on an assassin, who, after learning he is dying, puts out a hit on himself. The plot thickens when he learns his doctor made a mistake and he's not dying, as he must now fight for his life against the world's top assassins while protecting his lover in the process. Statham would presumably play the hitman who fights for his life after getting the wrong diagnosis.
We reported on the project way back in 2004, when Paramount picked up the rights, which originated with an adapted screenplay by Rand Ravich (The Astronaut's Wife), based on the original novel. At various points over the past two decades, stars such as Wesley Snipes and Michael Keaton were attached to star, along with directors such as Alex Proyas, John Woo, Pitof, Rupert Wainwright, Renny Harlin and Simon Crane, and studios such as Paramount, Warner Bros./New Line, Intermedia and QED. At one point, Simon Kinberg even took a crack at the script before he shepherded the X-Men universe.
There has been no release date or production schedule announced as of yet, with Jason Statham slated to shoot his Fast and Furious Spin-Off with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at some point this year. While no production schedule for that project was given, we reported last week that Deadpool 2 director David Leitch is being eyed, with the movie slated for release on July 26, 2019. Jason Statham will next be seen in the shark thriller The Meg, which hits theaters nationwide on August 10. Jason Statham is also attached to return for Spy 2, alongside Melissa McCarthy, but no production schedule has been set at this time.
D.J. Caruso started his career in the late 1990s with a number of indie films such as Cyclops, Baby, while directing episodes of High Incident, Martial Law, The Strip, Dark Angel, and Smallville before his breakthrough drama The Salton Sea starring Val Kilmer and Vincent D'Onofrio. That lead to directing the 2004 thriller Taking Lives starring Angelina Jolie, Two For the Money starring Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey, along with four episodes of The Shield before directing rising star Shia LaBeouf in back-to-back thrillers, 2007's Disturbia and 2008's Eagle Eye. His most recent credits include I Am Number Four, Standing Up, The Disappointments Room and last year's XXX: The Return of Xander Cage. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Killer's Game earlier today.