Casting News for Taylor Hackford’s “Parker”!

News is coming out about the next film from Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake)’s Parker character.  It will feature Jason Statham as the popular anti-hero, according to /Film.

/Film is also reporting that Clifton Collins Jr (Extract, Boondock Saints 2) and Wendell Pierce (HBO’s The Wire, Transformers 2) have signed onto the film as well.  Only rumored so far is Jennifer Lopez for what is said to be a key role in the film.

Today Deadline.com is reporting that Michael Chiklis has signed on to play the villain in the film, to be directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray, Blood In, Blood Out).

This will be the first return to the screen for Parker, who was first portrayed by Lee Marvin in the 1967 crime classic Point Blank.  The character was later reprised in the film Payback by Mel Gibson, which ended up releasing two quite different cuts of the film on video.

Westlake is one of the most influential crime writers from the past 30 years, and although he passed away a few years ago, his work obviously has a strong following and is ripe for another film.  The script is said to take elements from the original Parker novel The Hunter from 1962, and the last Parker novel, Flashfire, from 2000.

Parker is a classic anti-hero, with a plethora of mythos to mine from, here’s to hoping the screenwriter, John J. McLaughlin found the right notes from the chronologically diverse source materials.  Payback, both versions, is one of my favorite all time films, a classic crime story. 

Do you think Hackford will be able to pull it off well?  He’s already got one crime classic under his belt with Blood In, Blood Out, can he repeat the feat here?

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