Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie are re-upping their long-standing working relationship for another film. The actor and director are collaborating on a spy thriller titled Five Eyes, which will be their fifth time working together after Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Revolver, and the upcoming Wrath Of Man.
Statham will star as an MI6 agent who’s recruited by global intelligence alliance Five Eyes to track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology that threatens to disrupt the world order. Reluctantly paired with a CIA high-tech expert, he sets off on a globe-trotting mission to find a billionaire arms broker and infiltrate his inner circle.
Ritchie will direct from a script written by Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, who he’s already worked with on The Gentlemen. Atkinson will produce the movie alongside Bill Block of Miramax, which is also fully financing the film.
The term ‘five eyes’ usually refers to the intelligence alliance comprising of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and USA. It can be traced back to post-WWII to monitor the communications of the former Soviet Union, but now most of its emphasis is placed on monitoring the internet, with the countries sharing information between each other.
Edward Snowden described the Five Eyes as a “supra-national intelligence organisation that does not answer to the known laws of its own countries”, and documents leaked in 2013 revealed the countries had been spying on one another’s citizens and sharing the collected information with each other in order to circumvent restrictive domestic regulations.
This is all to say that this new Statham/Ritchie film will likely deal with…none of this. All accounts point to your typical Statham vehicle, although who knows, maybe Ritchie surprises us with a more nuanced take on international espionage and how the war on terror has shifted us more towards a surveillance state. But expect Statham to kill a bunch of people, too.
STXFilms has secured worldwide distribution rights, which makes sense as they worked with Ritchie on The Gentlemen, which grossed $115 million worldwide. That’s an easy decision to do business again. Production on the film is expected to begin in Europe next month.