Before Daniel Craig became James Bond and help revolutionize the role and an entire franchise there was a movie he made that put him on the radar as a contender: Matthew Vaughn‘s “Layer Cake.” A nifty little crime thriller which may not have lit up the box office, but at least earned solid reviews and gained more traction in its post-theatrical life as it spread through word of mouth. Now, a decade later, the nameless anti-hero is coming back but this time with a different face.
Jason Statham has optioned the rights to the sequel, “Viva La Madness,” and will take the lead role for himself. Oh no, continuity! Well, don’t cry too fast—the project is being developed in the spirit of movies based on Donald E. Westlake‘s Parker (who Statham has played) or Jack Ryan or Bond where the any actor can swap in. And moreover, this has the participation of the novelist J.J. Connolly who also wrote the book and script for “Layer Cake. So what’s this all about? Well, here’s the book synopsis:
J. J. Connolly the favorite voice of London gangster fiction returns with a tour de force: the Get Carter of the noughties, Layer Cake has also been made into a highly-praised film by Matthew Vaughn, starring Daniel Craig and Sienna Miller (it’s also the most shoplifted book in England). Now Connolly is back with a sequel that sees him on the same stunning form, with his trademark razor-sharp dialogue and quick-fire violence, but also finding dark humor and pathos in the lives of violent men. From the London underworld, Viva la Madness moves to international crime with trans-Atlantic drug deals, money laundering, and high-tech electronic fraud, portrayed with the same uncanny believability. The anonymous hero of Layer Cake is pulled back into the drug game before he can escape to a sunny retirement. In a dazzling combination of London low-life, Caribbean high-life, and Venezuelan drug cartels toting machine-guns in Mayfair, our hero’s voice and mission are authentic, thrilling, and whiplash-inducing in equal shares.
Seems like the kind of role Statham does best, and who can blame the guy for wanting to stay in the wheelhouse that pays the bills. No word yet on who will direct but we presume that’s the next step in the development process. [Deadline]