Berlin: Dennis Gansel in Talks to Direct 'Mechanic 2' (Exclusive)

Dennis Gansel Headshot - P 2012
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Dennis Gansel Headshot - P 2012

Nu Image is shopping the action sequel, starring Jason Statham, to international buyers at the EFM.

German director Dennis Gansel (The Wave) is in talks to direct Mechanic 2, the sequel to the 2011 action thriller starring Jason Statham.

One of the country's hottest directors, Gansel has made a name for himself with slick mainstream genre films, including Nazi drama Before the Fall (2004), best-seller adaptation The Wave (2008) and, most recently, terrorist thriller The Fourth State (2012). He is probably best know for The Wave, an adaptation of the teen novel by Ron Jones, which grossed more than $20 million in Germany alone.

Gansel has been courted by U.S. producers in the past, but has until now preferred to finance and produce his films out of Germany, often with long-term collaborators Rat Pack and Constantin Film.

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Statham has come on board to star in the Mechanic sequel, reprising his role as Arthur Bishop, the "mechanic" of the title, an elite assassin with a talent for cleanly killing targets, often making it look like an accidental death and with a strict code of conduct.

The first Mechanic film, from Expendables 2 director Simon West, co-starred Ben Foster. It is unclear if Foster or any of the original Mechanic cast will be in the sequel. Nu Image is shopping the project to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin.

Mechanic grossed just under $30 million in the U.S. and around $22 million internationally. But the pure genre nature of the project and Statham's loyal global home video fan base makes Mechanic 2 a potentially lucrative proposal.