The "Transporter" actor will star in a remake of the mustached icon's 1987 film "Heat," producer Sierra/Affinity said on Wednesday.
Do not get confused with Michael Mann's 1995 heist drama, despite sharing a title, this "Heat" is set in the world of gambling, not high-stakes robbery.
Brian De Palma will direct the film from a script by Oscar-winner William Goldman. Goldman wrote the screenplay to the original film (and the novel it is based on), which was directed by Dick Richards ("Farewell, My Lovely").
Steven Chasman will produce alongside Statham. "Heat" will begin principal photography in France in late 2012 or early 2013.
The story centers on a recovering gambling addict (Statham) who makes his living providing protection to other gamblers. Statham's character refuses to resort to gunplay, strictly using hand and edged weapon combat — weapons the action star has employed to great effect in movies such as "The Expendables." When a friend is brutally beaten by a mobster, he helps her to get her revenge.
Statham’s other film credits include "Crank" and "The Bank Job."
De Palma is best known for directing "The Untouchables" and "Scarface," but has recently stumbled critically and commercially with films like "Redacted" and "The Black Dahlia."
Statham and Goldman are represented by CAA. De Palma is represented by ICM.