Is Jason Statham the new Burt Reynolds?

The "Crank" thespian has signed on for a remake of the 1987 action film "Heat," which starred Reynolds. The remake is to be directed by Brian De Palma ("Mission: Impossible," "Scarface").

Not to be confused with Michael Mann's 1995 crime epic "Heat," the Reynolds vehicle -- and the Statham-ized redo -- center on a recovering gambling addict who works as a bodyguard/bouncer for hire in the Vegas underworld. Refusing to use firearms, he utilizes only his fists and some sharp knives to help a friend get revenge on a high-rolling mobster who beat her up.

Oscar winner William Goldman, who also adapted the '80s film from his own book, is writing the script. "Heat" will begin shooting in France in late 2012 or early 2013. Steven Chasman, who produced the Statham projects "The Bank Job" and the three "Transporter" films, is once again teaming with the Brit star.

“We are pleased to once again be working with Jason and Steve on another project which in this case is based on great source material from a rare combination of an acclaimed novelist who is also at the top of his game as a screenwriter," said producer Nick Meyer in a statement. "We look forward to bringing this elevated action-thriller from Brian De Palma to distributors around the world. We feel this project has it all—a first rate piece of material, a legendary director and a global action star.”

Statham, recently seen in "Killer Elite," will star in April's "Safe," this summer's "Expendables 2" and October's "Parker," based on the books by Donald Westlake.