Jason Statham as Richard Stark’s Parker?

Jason Statham from Transporter 3
Jason Statham from Transporter 3: Arise, Parker?
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.


  1. Chad Eagleton

    I think Statham can pull it off; especially if you look at something like The Bank Job. He’s not a bad choice. He’s got a certain charisma and can pull ruthless off pretty well. And he’ll at least bring a name to the project. My only point of concern would be the accent.

  2. Clare 2e

    I think the accent is where the “few words” comes in handy, and I agree, he was good in The Bank Job. Charisma, indeedy. Wonder who’ll they’ll cast around him as the fodder? Stark wrote some great dialogue for secondary characters, darkly funny and real. If the side characters are solid, and they bring half the genius of Stark’s original words, it’ll make all the difference and define the quieter Parker by contrast.

  3. Chad Eagleton

    Besides, if Statham is in it–that means my wife will go see it without groaning about it being a crime film!

  4. carol rosenberg

    Jason Statham perfect for Parker. Charisma to spare.

    Tom Cruise casting is ridiculous. Thomas Haden Church

    would be well suited for the role.

  5. Sheila M Williams

    Tom Cruze???Really?, Really???? Makes you wonder if these people have even read any of the Jack Reacher books, well, never mind, it may be beyond the scope of their intelligence!

  6. Lucas

    I liked Mel Gibson as “Porter” in Payback.

  7. Joel Lyczak

    My understanding with regard to ONE SHOT is that Lee Child did not mind the casting of Tom Cruise. If that is the case, then we as fans should hold our breath and hope for the best. The producers behind PARKER have a pedigree of making better than average action films, in fact, one of them was friends with Don Westlake, and a fan of the series. Westlake’s estate allowed them the use of the “Parker” name for this reason, that and it is hoped this will develop into series of Parker movies.

  8. Greg Dortmunder

    If there is any justice this Parker series will be bigger than Bond.
    Parker is the more compelling character.

  9. Robelia Moore

    As far as a Jason Stratham movie, “Parker” was ok. It is a good movie to play “What’s that caper?” The movie was a collection of many of Parker’s heists. I didn’t like the character Claire in the movie; Nick Nolte was her father but I think in the book series he was Parker’s contact for many years that eventually suffered from dementia and was killed, which I think Parker, in the book, was prepared to do to protect himself. So far, Stratham is a good choice as Parker – but needs developing.

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