With Jason Statham set to star in this weekend's expected blockbuster "The Expendables," it seems an appropriate time for CBS Films to announce it had acquired U.S. distribution rights to Millennium Films' remake of "The Mechanic."
Based on the Charles Bronson 1972 thriller of the same title, "The Mechanic" follows a similar story that finds an elite hit man (Statham) teaching the ins and outs of the business to an apprentice (Ben Foster). Unfortunately, it seems the younger hit man has a connection to one of his peer's victims.
The picture may turn out to be a comeback of sorts for director Simon West ("Con Air," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider") and also stars the venerable Donald Sutherland.
CBS Films has had a rocky start since launching a little over a year ago. The Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford docudrama "Extreme Measures" was a complete bomb, but the studio says it will actually turn a profit on the relatively inexpensive Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy "The Back-Up Plan." More promising is the Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thorton thriller "Faster" hitting theaters in November and the Alex Pettyfer ("I Am Number Four") and Vanessa Hudgens ("Sucker Punch") romance "Beastly" (delayed purposely after their more hyped films to help increase awareness). "Mechanic" is actually CBS' first acquisition and may signal a new player for more commercial releases on the festival circuit.
In a release from the studio, CBS Films President and Chief Executive Office Amy Baer noted, “The right acquisitions have always been a part of our plan and in The Mechanic we have a strong intelligent action thriller.”
Foster received critical notices last year for his role in "The Messenger." Besides "The Expendables," Statham has wrapped "The Killer Elite" with Robert DeNiro and Clive Owen as well as the Lionsgate thriller "Blitz."
"The Mechanic" is expected to be released sometime in the Spring of 2011.