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Jason Statham set to star in noir thriller Parker

Jason Statham is set to take the title role in Parker , a noir thriller from Taylor Hackford.

The film will be adapted from Donald Westlake's series of novels, which has previously inspired films like Point Blank (and remake Payback ) and The Outfit .

Parker is a career criminal who's not averse to killing when the need arises, but he does live by his own moral code which includes a Robin Hood-esque rule of only robbing from those who can afford it (he doesn't give to the poor though).

The character (never given a first name) featured in 24 of Westlake's novels, so this is another Statham vehicle that has franchise potential.

Some of the action man's recent action output has been a bit 'meh' ( The Mechanic didn't set anyone's world on fire), so it'll be interesting to see what he does under the watch of a director like Hackford.

On this change of pace, Hackford says: "I don't want to get stuck in a genre. What I like the most about this piece of material is that you can take a genre piece like this and turn it into a great movie."

Hackford directed Jamie Foxx to an Oscar in Ray ; will he tap into hitherto undiscovered depths in The Stath?

It'll certainly be an experience to see how Statham works with a more character-focused helmer, and at least we know he's got the unique gravelly tones for the noir voiceover.

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