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CBS Films Acquires Statham Actioner The Mechanic

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 9, 2010 at 4:39AM

Adding testosterone to its upcoming line-up, CBS Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Jason Statham actioner The Mechanic from Avi Lerner's Millenium Films (The Expendables). CBS plans a spring opening after the George Tillman, Jr. revenge thriller Faster, starring Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton and Carla Gugino (November), and writer-director Daniel Barnz's Beastly, based on Alex Flinn's Beauty and the Beast-inspired novel, starring Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer annd Mary-Kate Olsen (March 2011).
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Thompson on Hollywood

Adding testosterone to its upcoming line-up, CBS Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Jason Statham actioner The Mechanic from Avi Lerner's Millenium Films (The Expendables). CBS plans a spring opening after the George Tillman, Jr. revenge thriller Faster, starring Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton and Carla Gugino (November), and writer-director Daniel Barnz's Beastly, based on Alex Flinn's Beauty and the Beast-inspired novel, starring Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer annd Mary-Kate Olsen (March 2011).

Produced by Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff and their sons David Winkler and William Chartoff, this update of the 1972 Charles Bronson actioner was directed by Simon West (Con Air) and adapted by Richard Wenk and Lewis John Carlino. Statham plays a hit man who trains Ben Foster as his apprentice. Donald Sutherland co-stars.

According to CBS Films President and CEO Amy Baer, “the right acquisitions have always been a part of our plan and in The Mechanic we have a strong intelligent action thriller.”

So far CBS Films has released two box-office disappointments: heart-tugger Extraordinary Measures, starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser and romantic comedy The Back-Up Plan, starring Jennifer Lopez.

This article is related to: News, Studios, Genres, Action, Paramount/Vantage/Insurge/CBS


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.