Jason Statham Sizes Up <i>Parker</i>

Jason Statham is in talks to star in Parker, a noir thriller based on the series of crime novels written by the late Donald Westlake under the pseudonym Richard Stark.

Variety reports that Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray) will direct from John J. McLaughlin, who co-wrote Black Swan.

Westlake's 24 Parker books center on a cold and ruthless thief who, despite occasionally resorting to murder to get what he wants, lives by a strict professional code.

Several of the novels have been adapted for the big screen, most famously the 1967 Lee Marvin film Point Blank (based on the first book The Hunter). Cartoonist Darwyn Cooke has also adapted The Hunter and the third novel The Outfit as graphic novels, released by IDW Publishing; more will follow.

Sierra/Affinity, Incentive Filmed Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment will finance the film, with Hackford producing alongside Steven Chasman, Les Alexander, Sidney Kimmel and Jonathan Mitchell.

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