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).
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.