‘Killer Elite’ Is ‘More Grown-Up,’ Jason Statham Says

Also starring Robert De Niro and Clive Owen, 'This is a thinking man's action movie,' star tells MTV News.

Jason Statham has got nothing against skull-cracking, explosions-for-explosions-sake action flicks. The guy made his name with “The Transporter,” after all, and he’s getting set for a second go-round opposite Sylvester Stallone in “The Expendables 2.”

But “Killer Elite” (September 23), despite a title that suggests it’s another in a long line of empty-headed, Statham-starring adventures, is an altogether different creation. Based on a true story that spans the globe from France to Australia, the film stars Statham as an ex-special ops agent on a mission to save his mentor (Robert De Niro), who’s being held captive by a secretive military clan and its menacing leader (Clive Owen). There’s a grittiness simply not seen in much of Statham’s previous work.

“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time,” Statham told MTV News at the Toronto International Film Festival. “This is a thinking man’s action movie. It’s a bit more grown-up than things in the past I’ve done. In order to do movies like this, I have to go through and do a few of those as well. There’s a lot more going on.”

That extends from the words on the page to the guy behind the camera to the dudes mixing it up with Statham when writer/director Gary McKendry yells, “Action!”

“The quality of the script, the quality of the filmmaker — those are two elements that attract living legends like Bob De Niro and Clive Owen,” Statham said. “Once I start boxing around with those two, the whole quality of what we’re doing changes. It’s a big step up.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Killer Elite.”

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