The Man from Toronto is a new feature film starring Kevin Hart alongside Jason Statham. Well, it was supposed to be a great pairing with a potentially weird outcome. Sadly, the reality is that this pairing will not be seen on screen. Jason Statham quit the film just a couple of days before the start of the production. The scandal definitely made journalists happy as they finally had something meaningful to report on since the beginning of the year.
Statham, reportedly, left the movie after a series of heated discussions regarding the rating of the film. The studio wanted to stay within the borders of the PG-13 rating and create a film that would easily pass MPAA standards. However, Statham joined the project on the assumption that it would be a strong R-rated entry with mature jokes and violence. He tried his best to convince the execs but they did not budge even an inch. Seeing that his efforts were futile, he decided to just quit the film.
Statham’s position is understandable
The roots of Statham’s stardom are in R-rated films featuring violence, cruel fight scenes, and strong language. He was always an actor who wanted to be that tough guy on screen. While he is not against PG-13 as seen in his latest collaboration with the Rock on the Hobbs and Shaw movie, his pride as a tough as steel action-star is definitely on the line when he creates a standalone feature. It is also arguable whether a comedy that aims at teenagers will hit as hard as an action-comedy that does not hold back.
The studio’s position is actually quite reasonable as well. It wants the teenage audience to see the film. Stretching the script to make it borderline PG-13 is quite hard as the MPAA board may not really allow the movie featuring violence to be seen by teenagers. The studio simply does not want to risk and include scenes that can sway the opinion of the MPAA committee.
What’s next for Jason?
Statham recently was fired from the WME agency. It is a big deal for any actor to cut ties with an agency that represents them in the Hollywood environment where middlemen are quite important. Just a year ago, WME made a huge deal out of signing the actor and taking him from the CAA agency. Now, they fire him after the scandal surrounding The Man from Toronto.
Will it make any difference for Statham? He is definitely an A-lister whose stardom has not faded away even a little bit. Chances are he will be picked up by another agency very soon and sign a couple of big deals in the nearest future!