Sep 20, 2011

Studios Pull a Statham Switch

Bad news/good news, Jason Statham fans. Remember that surprise Jason Statham movie I posted about last month that was supposed to open so soon after the well-publicized Killer EliteSafe, the one where Statham plays "a former elite operative who must protect an adolescent girl from the bad guys?" (You know... that one!) I was so excited to learn we'd be getting Unexpected Statham hot on the heels of the Statham we've been expecting and eagerly anticipating for some time. Well, unfortunately Lionsgate seems to have reconsidered the "surprise Statham" strategy, and has moved Safe's release date back to early next year, giving them more time to promote the picture. Instead of next month, Safe will now open on March 2, 2012. Probably not a bad idea, actually, given that it would have been tailgating the September bow of Killer Elite so closely. Does the public really have a threshold for Statham? Lionsgate is taking the Safe bet (heh heh), but someone else evidently thinks not...

You see, luckily, the Statham Industry is self-regulating, self-perpetuating and unstoppable. That means that no sooner did Lionsgate move Safe out of its October berth than Anchor Bay stepped in and slotted another Statham action movie for that month. 13, which their publicists are positioning as "Jason Statham's 13," but is in fact an ensemble movie co-starring Ray Winstone, Mickey Rourke (who has publicly slammed the film, not that that necessarily means anything), 50 Cent, Sam Riley and Alexander Skarsgard. Unfortunately, this one (as far as I know) is not a spy film in any way. So, since it stars Jason Statham and it's not a spy film, we can conclude quite correctly by process of elimination that it is a crime film, specifically one about an underworld Russian roulette competition where the stakes are (obviously) high, but so is the potential payout. 13 , a remake of the 2006 Georgian film 13 Tzameti, opens (in an extremely exclusive engagement limited to New York's Village East Cinema and LA's Laemmle Monica 4-Plex) on October 28 en route to a November 8 release on DVD and Blu-ray.

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