Fast and the Furious 6 is clearly ramping up for its June production start as casting news is becoming more frequent and now there's a rumor that Luke Evans (Immortals, The Raven) has been offered the lead villain role. What's even more interesting (to me at least) is this is actually the same role Jason Statham turned down, which got me to thinking... Has Jason Statham ever played an outright villain in a film?
I guess I am just looking for a reason Statham would have turned down the role as he seems to accept most any action film that comes his way and why not take part in a major franchise where the fans of that franchise would love to see him included? I would at least. [source]
Vin Diesel recently updated fans on the progress of Riddick the third film in the titular franchise. As far as a release date he posted on his Facebook page, "The studio said the earliest they could release the new Riddick is in January... was hoping for 2012... but, it's on the horizon."
He also adds the studio is liking what they are seeing and that they asked about additional sequels writing, "I think they are liking what they are seeing... haha, cause they asked when both Underverse and Furya would be ready to make and release... haha... now that's a ways in the future but it is exciting." [source]
It was previously titled 300: Battle of Artemisia, but apparently the spin-off from Zack Snyder's 300 will go by a different name when it hits theaters on August 2, 2013. Eva Green, who plays what was once the title role in the film, Artemisia, spoke with MTV recently saying:
"Oh yeah, I'm playing Artemisia. She really existed actually. She was commander on a boat, of a whole Armada. She's a very ballsy character, she's almost like a man, so that's fun. It's my first action film, it's going to be a challenge, [there will be] lots of training."
The "she's almost like a man" comment makes me laugh because I'm sure many women would have to wonder, What does that mean? Is she almost a man because she was a commander? Because she's ballsy? Did she mean that last part in a literal sense?
Like Fast and Furious 6, Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills has been adding cast members left and right and today recent Oscar nominee Demian Bichir (A Better Life) joins the film in an undisclosed role. Bichir was also cast in William Friedkin's next feature, Trapped, in which he'll play an Israeli operative.
Gary Ross backed out of returning to direct Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, and today it was announced he'll instead direct Houdini for Summit. The film is an adaptation of "The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America's First Superhero" with a screenplay from first-timer Noah Oppenheim. The 2006 book became known for insinuating Houdini acted as a spy for Britain, helped the Secret Service and was in cahoots with police organizations. [source]