“Unleashing the What-Ifs: The Top 10 Missed Opportunities of Jason Statham”

Although he had the opportunity to take on various roles, including ones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jason Statham, a renowned action star, declined. Nevertheless, there is still a chance for him to explore these opportunities in the future.

For almost 20 years, Jason Statham has been known for his action-packed performances on the silver screen. However, prior to his acting career, Statham was a successful martial arts practitioner, a renowned diver, and a sports model. His impressive physical abilities and no-nonsense attitude landed him his Hollywood debut in Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” in 1998, followed by another collaboration with Ritchie for the 2000 crime film “Snatch”. Statham has since established himself as an A-list action star by becoming a franchise favorite, starring in movies such as “The Transporter” and “The Expendables”. Despite his success, there were roles that Statham turned down or didn’t get, including the role of Desolation Williams in the 2001 movie “Ghosts of Mars”.

 

The movie Ghosts of Mars, written and directed by John Carpenter, follows the story of James “Desolation” Williams, a criminal who joins forces with a police squad to battle possessed citizens on a mining planet. Jason Statham was initially considered for the role of Williams due to his reputation as a charming antihero in his early movies with director Guy Ritchie. However, the producers wanted a more established star and ultimately chose Ice Cube, known for his roles in Boyz in the Hood, Anaconda, and two Friday movies. Statham still managed to make an impression during auditions and was cast as Sergeant Jericho Butler, marking his first venture into the action genre. In the 2002 movie Dog Soldiers, Statham played the character Private Cooper.

 

The movie Dog Soldiers, which featured soldiers battling werewolves, didn’t do well at the box office but gained a cult following for its entertaining take on horror-action. Originally, Jason Statham was considered for the lead role of Private Cooper, but he withdrew from the project after accepting a part in Ghosts of Mars. Kevin McKidd replaced him in the film. In a recent interview with Den of Geek, the writer-director of Dog Soldiers, Neil Marshall, explained why he had wanted Statham to play Cooper. Marshall had admired Statham’s charisma and talent in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and believed he had the potential to become a star. When Statham accepted the Ghosts of Mars role, Marshall encouraged him to work with John Carpenter, saying, “You’ve got a chance to go and work with John Carpenter.” Following Marshall’s advice, Statham went on to become a renowned action hero. One of his notable roles was Agent 47 in the 2007 movie Hitman.

 

The role of Agent 47 in the movie adaptation of the video game Hitman was initially offered to Vin Diesel, but he declined it to star in Babylon A.D. Eventually, Timothy Olyphant portrayed the assassin in the first movie, which received negative reviews. Rupert Friend replaced Olyphant in the 2015 sequel, Hitman: Agent 47. Interestingly, Jason Statham had also auditioned for the main role but lost out to Olyphant. It may have been a blessing in disguise as Statham went on to star in other successful movies like the Fast & Furious franchise. In the TV series Peaky Blinders, Thomas Shelby is one of his notable roles from 2013-2022.

 

Caryn Mandabach Productions, the production company behind the widely successful crime drama Peaky Blinders, almost cast Jason Statham instead of Cillian Murphy to play the role of gang leader Thomas Shelby. Showrunner Steven Knight initially preferred Statham’s edgier appearance after meeting both actors in Los Angeles. However, Murphy, who had already proven his ability to take on transformative roles, wasn’t ready to give up without a fight. He sent Knight a text message saying, “Remember, I’m an actor.” Eventually, Knight saw Murphy’s point, and the rest is history. Interestingly, Statham did end up starring in another popular franchise, Fast & Furious, as the character Owen Shaw from 2013 to 2017.

Jason Statham has become a familiar face in the Fast & Furious franchise with multiple roles, including the co-lead in the Hobbs and Shaw spin-off. Interestingly, he was almost cast as Owen Shaw, Deckard’s younger brother, before Welsh actor Luke Evans scored the part. Evans delivered a standout performance as the leader of a group of mercenaries in Fast & Furious 6 and made cameo appearances in subsequent films. Statham made his first appearance in the series in a post-credits scene of the same film.

 

EuropaCorp faced a setback when Jason Statham, who played Frank Martin in the first three Transporter movies, declined to star in the fourth film, The Transporter Refueled. Statham’s decision was driven by a business dispute, as the producers asked him to commit to three more Transporter movies for a lower compensation. Ed Skrein, known for his role as Ajax in Daredevil, replaced Statham and played Frank Martin in the fourth movie. However, the change in lead actor did not benefit The Transporter Refueled, which received negative reviews and is considered the worst movie in the franchise.

 

Jason Statham was approached by Marvel to take on the role of Captain Britain in Captain America: Civil War, but he reportedly turned down the opportunity due to his age. At 47 years old, Statham felt that Marvel should opt for a younger actor for the role. While the idea of introducing Captain Britain was ultimately abandoned, Statham remained on Marvel’s radar for future projects. In 2018, he was considered for the role of Bullseye in the Marvel series Daredevil.

Marvel Television executives may have approached Jason Statham to play Bullseye in season two of Daredevil on Netflix in 2015. However, any negotiations were likely halted after Statham criticized Marvel movies in an interview that same year. Statham stated that anyone could wear a cape and rely on stunt doubles and green screens to create action scenes, which he believed to be inauthentic. Marvel postponed introducing Bullseye until season three, when Wilson Bethel played the role of psychopathic FBI agent Benjamin “Dex” Pointdexter.

 

In 2004, Kate Beckinsale was in discussions to star as a spy similar to Jason Bourne and James Bond in a film titled Daisy Scarlett: Semper Occultus. Thanks to her success in the Underworld series, Beckinsale was a hot commodity in the action genre. Alongside her were action stars Jason Statham and Jet Li, rumored to play SAS Commander Randolph. Sadly, Daisy Scarlett never came to fruition. Despite this setback, Statham had a successful year with a minor role in the Oscar-nominated Collateral and his first villainous turn in the action thriller Cellular. Furthermore, it remains unknown which Marvel movie Statham has been attached to star in.

 

Lionsgate has reported that the Marvel Studios never gave up on the possibility of casting Jason Statham despite their prior failed negotiations. In 2017, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed during the promotion of Spider-Man: Homecoming that Statham was again being considered for an MCU role. Though Feige did not disclose which movie or role Statham was being considered for, he mentioned that Statham had scheduling conflicts but appeared keen on making another attempt despite his earlier criticism of Marvel movies. Feige recollected receiving a call from Statham, in which the actor apologized for not being able to take up the role and expressed his interest in working with Marvel in the future. A rumor circulating in 2022 suggests that Statham has already signed up for a role in Captain America 4 as Union Jack.

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