Deadline reports that Statham and his manager/producing partner Steve Chasman (The Transporter, Blitz) have bought the rights to Connolly’s novel, published back in 2011, with Connolly set to pen the script, as he did with Matthew Vaughn’s original Layer Cake adaptation.
The sequel arrived in print just over a decade after Layer Cake hit the shelves, and with Vaughn’s film hitting theatres in 2004, four years after the novel was published, let’s hope that it won’t be long before Viva La Madness hits screens.
Coming via Amazon, here’s the synopsis for the original novel:
The authentic voice of British gangster fiction, J.J. Connolly, is back with his trademark razor-sharp dialogue and quick-fire violence. From the London underworld he portrayed brilliantly in Layer Cake, the plot of Viva la Madness goes international, with trans-Atlantic drug deals, money laundering and high-tech electronic fraud, described with the same uncanny believability. The anonymous hero of Layer Cake is pulled back into the drug game before he can enjoy a sunny retirement. From living the high-life in the Caribbean to a dangerous existence in London, with Venezuelan drug cartels toting machine-guns in Mayfair, the story moves from violence and farce to criminal insanity.
It’s not that often that different actors lead sequels playing the same character, there are plenty of franchises that break the trend, most notably of course including James Bond, as well as the likes of Alex Cross, Jack Ryan, and a handful of others. And whilst Craig did an amazing job back in ’04 leading Layer Cake, this sounds like a brilliant move for Statham and Chasman.
It’s been far too long since we’ve seen Statham take on a role like this, that takes him back to his roots in British gangster movies. It was Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Snatch., of course, that made him famous, and given that Layer Cake was borne out of that genre, it seems very fitting that Statham is the one to take on Viva La Madness. With any luck, the project will develop nicely in the months to come, and we’ll hopefully be hearing about further casting and finding a director soon.