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Woody Harrelson to Replace Jason Statham in Action-Comedy 'Man From Toronto' (Exclusive)

Patrick Hughes, who directed the 2017 Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson starrer 'The Hitman’s Bodyguard,' is on board to helm the Columbia Pictures project.
Woody Harrelson (left), Jason Statham   |   Getty Images
Patrick Hughes, who directed the 2017 Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson starrer 'The Hitman’s Bodyguard,' is on board to helm the Columbia Pictures project.

Woody Harrelson is booking a flight to Toronto.

Harrelson has signed a deal to replace Jason Statham in The Man From Toronto, joining Kevin Hart in the action-comedy from Columbia Pictures.

Statham was in talks to star opposite Hart but abruptly backed out a week ago. The action star was insisting on making an R-rated film, but Sony execs didn't budge in their belief in making a broader, four-quadrant movie. With his deal still not signed, Statham exited, leaving Sony, now facing a production that was only six weeks from shooting, in the lurch.

A scramble for a new actor was on, with Sony landing on Harrelson, who was already a studio favorite having starred in two Zombieland pics for the Culver City-based company, as well as recently wrapping a turn in its upcoming Venom 2.

The action-comedy uses a case of a mistaken identity as its jumping-off point after the world’s deadliest assassin, known as the Man from Toronto, and a New York City screw-up run into each other at an Airbnb. A clash of personalities, and a clash with deadly killers, ensues.

Patrick Hughes, who directed the 2017 Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson starrer The Hitman’s Bodyguard, is on board to helm. Robbie Fox wrote the script from a story by Fox and Jason Blumenthal. Blumenthal is also producing, along with Todd Black and Steve Tisch, his partners at Escape Artists.

Sony has The Man From Toronto slotted for a Nov. 20 release. 

Harrelson, who is repped by CAA, was last in theaters with the Zombieland sequel Double Tap and the World War II movie Midway. He is set for Sony's Venom sequel and the Ruben Ostlund-directed Triangle of Sadness.

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