Jason Statham, D.J. Caruso in Talks for 'Killer's Game' (Exclusive)

Jason Statham and DJ Caruso - Split - Getty - H 2018
Left, Frazer Harrison, right, Victor Chavez, both Getty Images
Can a project more than 20 years in the making finally happen? STX thinks so.

Jason Statham is in negotiations to star in The Killer’s Game, an action thriller that D.J. Caruso will direct.

STX Films is in discussions to finance and distribute the film.

The move breathes new life into one of Hollywood’s oldest unproduced scripts.

Based on a Jay Bonansinga novel, the script centers on a veteran assassin who is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and takes a hit out on himself to avoid the pain that is destined to follow. After ordering the kill, he finds out that he was misdiagnosed and must then fend off the army of former colleagues trying to kill him.

The book was published in 1997, and Hollywood has been trying to adapt since it was in manuscript form. Michael Keaton and Wesley Snipes were attached to star in the project at various points in its development, which has seen Paramount, Warner Bros./New Line, Intermedia and QED all attached at some point.

The directors that have come and gone are also a testament to Killer's Game’s staying power: Alex Proyas, John Woo, Pitof, Rupert Wainwright, Renny Harlin and Simon Crane have all passed through. And Simon Kinberg worked on the script before he became known as the shepherd of the X-Men franchise.

Producing Killer's Game will be Steve Richards of Endurance Media and Andrew Lazar of Mad Chance.

Caruso is known for helming a pair of Shia LaBeouf thrillers, Disturbia and Eagle Eye, and last directed XXX: The Return of Xander Cage. He is repped by CAA.

Statham is one of the biggest names in action movies and has several franchises under his belt, with Fast & Furious and The Mechanic among them. While the timing of Killer's Game is unclear, the actor is slated to reteam with Dwayne Johnson for Universal’s Fast & Furious spinoff that will shoot in 2019. Statham is repped by CAA, Current Entertainment and Bloom Hergott.