The original film made Jason Statham an action movie star, but here’s why he passed on The Transporter 4 and a planned trilogy of new movies.
While the series may have made him a star, here’s why Jason Statham passed on The Transporter 4. Statham made his screen debut with Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels in 1998, and had an unusual path to becoming an action star. After reuniting with Ritchie for Snatch and taking assorted supporting roles in movies like The One or John Carpenter’s Ghosts Of Mars – which technically marked Statham’s action debut – he landed the lead role in 2002’s The Transporter. This cast him as a mercenary and gifted driver named Frank Martin who specializes in delivering packages – no questions asked – and he follows a strict set of rules.
The Transporter didn’t receive great reviews, but it became a surprise success and reinvented Statham’s screen persona. He returned for two Transporter sequels – released in 2005 and 2008 respectively – and made further action hits like The Expendables movies. In recent years, Statham has attached himself to the Fast And Furious saga as villain turned anti-hero Deckard Shaw, and earned his own blockbuster series with The Meg.
Statham’s final time playing Frank was the third movie, though The Transporter franchise continued. Chris Vance played the titular role in The Transporter TV series, which lasted for two seasons and ended in 2014. The series later returned to the big screen with 2015’s The Transporter Refueled. This cast Deadpool’s Ed Skerin as the titular character, with the film intended as a reboot that would lead to a new trilogy. While the film was a financial success, it didn’t receive a sequel and Statham’s presence was missed. It turns out the actor was offered The Transporter 4, but despite being willing to return, he passed for multiple reasons.
Statham Refused To Sign For Another Transporter Trilogy
In 2013, it was announced a new trilogy of Transporter movies was being planned, though Statham’s involvement was unknown. While speaking with Vulture in 2015, the star shed light on the offer he received, stating “… they wanted me to sign on and do three more films without even seeing a script, and they offered me less money to do three than I’d get paid for one!” He also revealed he “… couldn’t see the value in that” and it was ultimately a “business decision.”
Instead of making The Transporter 4, Statham – whose movie Homefront was almost a Rambo sequel – went on to appear in movies like Furious 7 and Spy. In hindsight, it was probably a mistake for the producers of The Transporter franchise not to meet Statham’s quote, because even if that films had modest budgets, he was a major part of their appeal to audiences. He also clarified in the above Vulture conversion that “I would have loved to have done it…” but without a screenplay to go off, he decided to pass.