As everyone looking for great roles and more creative freedom knows, television is the place to be. Jason Statham is now the latest movie star to make the move to the small screen in the upcoming action thriller series Viva La Madness, produced by Gaumont International (who also produced Hannibal, bless them). Though no network is attached yet, I think we can safely assume a bidding war will be happening for this.
THR reports that Statham will executive produce the series alongside Steven Chasman, who owns the rights to the story. Viva La Madness is J.J. Connolly’s follow-up to his novel Layer Cake, which was made into a movie in 2004 starring Daniel Craig (a really underrated and oft-forgot movie, I might add). Connolly will also write the series.
Gaumont International TV CEO Katie O’Connell Marsh said of the project,
Viva La Madness, with its riveting characters and twisting storyline, is a volatile cocktail of action and comedy that only J.J. Connolly can create. Jason Statham, known for his roles in the Transporter trilogy, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, The Bank Job, as well as the recent Furious 7 and Spy, brings such strength and credibility to his characters but also has an effortless shade of vulnerability that gives him so much dimension on screen.
The book moves from Layer Cake’s London underworld to an international setting, focusing on transatlantic drug deals, money laundering, and high-tech electronic fraud. In Viva La Madness, Layer Cake’s anonymous hero is pulled back into these shadows just before retirement (he’s in the Caribbean, but misses his life of crime back home). He joins forces with two robust London gangsters — the menacing Sonny King and his paranoid partner Roy “Twitchy” Burns — and combines London low-lifes with the Caribbean high-life, as he battles Venezuelan drug cartels toting machine guns.
So … it sounds like it’s going to kick some ass. We’ll bring you more on the project as we know it, but so far, what do you guys think? Has anyone read the book? Thoughts?