When last we heard about Viva La Madness, a follow-up to the 2005 cult crime thriller Layer Cake starring Daniel Craig, it was set to be a feature length movie starring Jason Statham. The action icon confirmed in an interview earlier this year that the movie was set to start shooting in 2016. That part was true. Except now, instead of a movie sequel, Viva La Madness has been reconfigured as an episodic TV crime drama. The good news is that it will still star Jason Statham. This may be the true reason he dropped out of Marvel's Daredevil Season 2 talks, which would have seen him playing the villain Bullseye.
Gaumont International Television is developing Viva La Madness as an hour-long TV show that will be directly based on J.J. Connolly's novel of the same name. The company is also behind the now canceled NBC horror-crime series Hannibal and the Netflix horror series Hemlock Grove, which is preparing to launch its third and final season later this year. There is no network yet attached to Viva La Madness, so the level of violence has yet to be determined.
Jason Statham will assume the role portrayed by Daniel Craig in Layer Cake. The book is the second in the series, and follows an anonymous hero who has become stranded in the Caribbean. He begins to itch for the crime life he left behind. Problem, though. He's a wanted man back home. Hoping to create a new niche for himself in the underworld crime scene, he teams up with two enterprising London gangsters. Sonny King, who is a menacing force to be reckoned with, and his partner in crime, the very paranoid Roy 'Twitchy' Burns.
Steven Chasman and Jason Statham own the property rights to Viva La Madness. Both will serve as executive producers on the series. Gaumont International Television plans to shop the show to various broadcast, cable and internet outlets in the very near future. Author J.J. Connolly will be writing the scripts himself, though it isn't known how many episodes the first season will contain, or if it will be a limited event series. About the project, Jason Statham had this to say.
"The way J.J. writes is so on the ball and authentic its hard to let any of it go,. Trying to lose characters or shave down scenes every other page didn't work, we wanted it all. The best place was a 10 hour plus show that lets you fully disappear into Connolly's world".
Adds Katie O'Connell Marsh, CEO of Gaumont International Television.
"Viva La Madness, with its riveting characters and twisting storyline, is a volatile cocktail of action and comedy that only J.J. Connolly can create. Jason Statham, known for his roles in the Transporter trilogy, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, The Bank Job, as well as the recent Furious 7 and Spy, brings such strength and credibility to his characters but also has an effortless shade of vulnerability that gives him so much dimension on screen."