Simon West Jason Statham

At this point, Jason Statham is genre unto himself and can consistently pull in a steady, though small, audience to the low-budget genre fare he churns out annually. Earlier this year it was announced that Statham would be starring in a Brian DePalma-helmed and William Goldman-scripted remake of the forgotten 1986 Burt Reynolds vehicle “Heat.” Though the film is still moving forward, the legendary auteur has been swapped out for schlock-impresario Simon West.

Though the initial hiring of DePalma came as a surprise it makes more sense that the director of “Con Air” and the “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” adaptation would handle the remake. Besides, West and Statham are in the midst of something of a bromance as the upcoming remake will mark their third collaboration in two years, “The Mechanic” (which has as a sequel being shopped on the floor of AFM) and this year’s surprisingly fun -- and dumb -- “The Expendables 2.”

Goldman, the legendary screenwriter behind “All The President’s Men” and “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid,” has written the film based on his novel -- as he did for the 1986 film -- which follows an ex-mercenary working as a bodyguard in Las Vegas who teaches a meek man to be tough while seeking out revenge on a mobster who abused his escort friend. Given that the time between the release of the Reynolds-starring film and now saw the release of Michael Mann’s seminal crime drama, also titled “Heat,” we’d imagine there’s a title change in the cards for the remake. Shooting will start next February. [Variety]