On the heels of the overwhelmingly negative reaction to Paramount’s idea for Lee Child’s creation, that is, casting Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, we have a new casting decision to announce for yet another icon in the world of crime fiction.
According to Deadline New York, director Taylor Hackford is close to finalizing U.S. distribution rights for a film about Parker, the often-imitated but never-matched creation of Richard Stark aka Donald Westlake. (Sorry—are the ruffles of my Westlake fannishness showing?)
Jason Statham*, a Brit, but certainly an action-oriented and laconic one, is set to play the titular role. I’m less offended by this notion than by Cruise as Reacher. Still, I always felt that looking at swarthy Parker, there’d be a lightning-cunning in those dark eyes, a dangerous twinkle of intelligence and willingness to harm that’s part of the menace he wears like a second-skin. Does the undeniably quick-reflexed Statham precisely exude that? Well, he’s closer for me than some, but I’m not completely convinced. What say you, hard-boiled crime fans and armchair casting directors?
*For those of you who simply like looking at Jason Statham, you’re welcome.