The action film “The Transporter Refueled” hits theaters today and it’s not only the newest film in the “Transporter” movie series, it also features a new star.
Actor Jason Statham, who appeared in the original 2002 film “The Transporter” as well as other sequels, did not return for this movie and “Game of Thrones” actor Ed Skrein stepped in to star as Frank Martin, a driver who takes care of transporting items.
Skrein said in an interview that he didn’t feel too much pressure about taking over the role. “I really never think about what people think of me or how they would compare me to other people,” he said. "Let's let the people decide.”
So far, the film has received negative reviews from critics, with reviewers writing, “The film rarely pauses for anything resembling character building or repartee, but when it does, the results are screamingly hysterical” and “crass and nonsensical.”
Recasting lead actors in action films are nothing new. The series that has probably done it most famously is the James Bond movie franchise, which debuted in 1962 with “Dr. No,” a film that featured actor Sean Connery as the superspy. Several other actors have taken on the role since, with some of the most recent being Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and the current franchise star, Daniel Craig, who is appearing in this November’s Bond movie “SPECTRE.”
Some of the "Bond" movies with new actors have done better than others. Craig’s tenure is currently one of the most successful, with his last outing, 2012’s “Skyfall,” becoming the highest-grossing Bond movie of all time without calculating inflation.
Another successful action franchise recently brought on a new actor, though he played a different character. After Matt Damon starred in the “Bourne” film franchise, actor Jeremy Renner came aboard for the movie “The Bourne Legacy,” in which he played a new protagonist named Aaron Cross. The new movie didn’t do as well with critics as Damon’s previous outing, “The Bourne Ultimatum,” however, and grossed less domestically than Damon’s films.