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THE TRANSPORTER

About The Production
Twentieth Century Fox presents a Europacorp Production, in coproduction with TF1 Films Productions in association with Current Entertainment and Canal +, starring Jason Statham and Shu Qi in THE TRANSPORTER. François Berleand and Matt Schulze also star. The director is Cory Yuen, the screenplay is by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen, and the artistic director is Louis Leterrier. The producers are Luc Besson & Steven Chasman. The director of photography is Pierre Morel, and the production designer is Hugues Tissandier. The editor is Nicolas Trembasiewicz, and the original score is by Stanley Clarke.

With previous credits including Guy Ritchie's audaciously funny "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch," actor Jason Statham isn't the most obvious choice as Hollywood's newest action star. But after a meeting early last year with renowned filmmaker Luc Besson ("La Femme Nikita," "The Professional"), Statham was set on a path that would lead him to the title role of the highly self-sufficient and occasionally lethal "transporter" in Besson's latest production.

Statham's manager, Steven Chasman (who also serves as a producer on THE TRANSPORTER), previously collaborated with Besson on "Kiss of the Dragon," released by Twentieth Century Fox last summer. Knowing that Besson had a great eye for talent – Natalie Portman is among his discoveries – Chasman approached Besson about meeting Statham. Besson was so impressed with the actor that he agreed to co-write, with Robert Mark Kamen, a thriller written especially for Statham.

For Statham, a lifelong Besson fan, the confab with the filmmaker was a memorable experience. "I couldn't believe I was sitting in a room with Luc Besson, discussing a part in his next movie!" he recalls. "The fact that he wanted to write it for me was almost unbelievable. How privileged can an actor get?"

Besson's co-writer, Robert Mark Kamen, who served in the same capacity on "Kiss of the Dragon" and Besson's science-fiction hit "The Fifth Element," also was impressed with Statham. "Jason has something that most movie action heroes lack: a humanity and decency that come through even though his character, Frank, is as hard-boiled as they come," Kamen notes. "Luc thought Jason had not only the action chops to attract audiences vicerally, but the right amount of simpatico to get them emotionally."

Kamen also saw specific qualities in Statham's work in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch" that would become intrinsic to the character of Frank in THE TRANSPORTER. "When I watched Jason in the Guy Ritchie films, I immediately noticed that Jason really knew how to be still; you're drawn to him in those films because he is staying so quiet and motionless. So when he does something on screen, you're really watching – he just grabs you."

Statham notes that Frank's stillness adds balance to the character's physical prowess, softening the hard edges of typical screen action heroes. "Frank likes to keep things simple," the actor notes. "He lives a quiet life in the south of France; he's built a wall around himself. Most important, he has a set of rules he never breaks.

"Frank's not a murderer or an assassin; he's something completely different," Statham adds. "He could easily break the necks of those who go up against him, but he instead inflicts minimal damage to incapacitate them temporarily, not permanently. I like to call Frank, ‘The Thinking Man's Fighting Machine' because his technique is very stylish. He doesn't want to kill anybody, and he certainly doesn't enjoy the combat he often finds himself in."

Since Besson and Kamen wrote the part of Frank for Statham, it's not surprising that that act

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