David Ayer, who directed Suicide Squad, has signed on direct The Beekeper, a new action movie starring Jason Statham and hailing from Miramax. The movie is set to be shopped around at the upcoming Cannes film market, according to Deadline, who broke the news. The script was written by Kurt Wimmer (Salt), and was sold to Miramax last year, with an eye toward turning The Beekeeper into a film franchise. In the vein of Kingsman, it sounds like the movie will be a kinetic action movie that centers on a clandestine organization with secret connections to global power.
Statham and Wimmer are set to produce with Bill Block for Miramax and Chris Long for Cedar Park Studios. This reunites Statham with Miramax, who produced Guy Ritchie's Wrath of Man and Operature Fortune: Ruse De Guerre.
"Having collaborated with Jason on Wrath Of Man and Operation Fortune, and with David on Fury, we are fortunate to partner with these masters of the new action genre to bring Kurt's brilliant script to the first installment of this franchise," Block said in a statement.
Here's how Deadline describes the film: "The fast-paced action-thriller, which is steeped in the mythology of beekeeping, follows a man's personal journey of vengeance which takes on national stakes after he is revealed to be a former operative of a powerful and clandestine organization known as the 'Beekeepers.'"
It seems likely that the name "the Beekeepers" is a reference to Sherlock Holmes, who tended bees after his retirement from the law enforcement racket. A number of later works have explored Holmes's days as a beekeeper, implying that he still didn't really retire, even at that point in his life.
Ayer, who wrote Training Day, went on to direct movies like End of Watch, Fury, and Bright. There are frequent calls from fans to release his director's cut of Suicide Squad, given how much different it seems to be from the final product, and the degree of dissatisfaction Ayer has expressed with Warner Bros.' theatrical edit. Warners has said there are no current plans to release the director's cut.
Statham has both The Meg 2: The Trench and The Expendables 4 coming up. It's expected that if the Expendables franchise moves forward, that he will step up as the face of the series, since creator and star Sylvester Stallone has said he is moving on.