Wednesday, June 22, 2011
As reported around the web in the last day or so, Taylor Hackford is set to direct Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez in Parker, an adaptation of the Donald Westlake (writing as Richard Stark) series of novels about a professional thief. Statham will play the title character and Lopez is playing someone named Leslie. There's no clear indication yet if the movie will adapt one particular book in the long-running series or just use characters and situations from the books in a new story. Filming is set to begin this August.
The Parker books are terrific, and it's a bummer that we won't be getting any new ones, as Mr. Westlake died on New Year's Eve in 2008, with more than a hundred published books under his belt. Many of the Parker novels are available on Kindle, including The Outfit ($9.99), Plunder Squad ($7.98), and Slayground ($9.79).
Jason Statham is seen in the accompanying photograph. He at least looks like a credible Parker. And while I'm not that excited about Jennifer Lopez having a big part in the film (she's too glitzy for the types of characters who populate the books), Taylor Hackford is a pretty solid director who should be able to replicate the mood and tension of the original works.