“We created Jason”: Bruce Willis Forced Filmmakers to Create Their Own Movie Star Jason Statham With $315Million Worth Action Franchise

Jason Statham became an established action-star with The Transporter and he has Bruce Willis’ difficult work ethics to thank for.

Actor Jason Statham is known for playing characters that are described as tough, gritty, or violent in packed action-thriller movies. The actor has been credited for leading the resurgence of action movies during the 2000s and 2010s. Statham is known to be one of the most bankable stars in the industry, and Bruce Willis is to be thanked for it, in a way.

Jason Statham has appeared in movies, including the Transporter trilogy, The Italian Job, Crank, War, Fast & Furious franchise, and more. The actor has, over the years, managed to not only impress the audience with his performances but also become one of the most influential celebrities in the world.

Jason Statham

Jason Statham

Jason Statham’s action-star image credited to Bruce Willis’ difficult nature

Jason Statham cemented his image as an action star with The Transporter directed by Louis Leterrier from a screenplay by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. The movie was inspired by a short film series The Hire, and upon its release, even though it received mixed reviews, action sequences, and the actor’s performance was highly lauded by the audience and critics.

Robert Mark Kamen had worked with Luc Besson on 1997’s The Fifth Element, which starred Bruce Willis as the lead. Besson not only co-wrote the script but also directed The Fifth Element, which received mixed reviews from the critics.

Jason Statham landed The Transporter because Bruce Willis was difficult to work with

Bruce Willis in The Fifth Element

During an interview with Uproxx, Kamen spoke about his experience of working on the movie, especially with Bruce Willis. He explained what led to the duo to try out Jason Statham for The Trasnporter rather than sticking with Willis. He said,

“He [Bruce Willis] was very difficult, and Luc Besson worked around it. But Luc wasn’t used to it. After he did that, he came to me and said, ‘We have to create our own movie stars.’ And that’s what we did with The Transporter. We created Jason.”
Bruce Willis, on the other hand, had shared with EW via Yahoo Entertainment that Besson does a lot of takes and they had long days of just work and work. He noted that he didn’t have a problem with that as it’s a part of the film business. Despite being one of the finest actors in the industry, Willis does have a reputation for being difficult to work with.

Jason Statham addresses his The Transporter franchise exit

Jason Statham, back in 2015, had spoken to Vulture, where he had explained why he had decided to exit the successful franchise. He said,
“It was obviously a great experience doing those films, and I would have loved to keep doing it. But they wanted me to sign on and do three more films without even seeing a script, and they offered me less money to do three than I’d get paid for one!”
The action star explained that his decision to leave was solely a business decision, adding that he would have loved to do it, but he couldn’t just sign a contract without a script. He lastly mentioned that with the money he was being offered, he just didn’t see the value in that.

Jason StathamJason Statham decided to leave the franchise after three movies

Director Louis Leterrier back in 2023, during an interview with ComicBook.com,sshared his experience of directing Statham in The Transporter. He said,
“Directing him was just like it was so great and it was the beginning of his career, the very beginning of my career with two different people. But at the same time, you know, our heart is the same and our love for each other is the same. It was a true pleasure.”
He further added that Jason Statham as Frank Martin is great, adding that the character is simply great and him being a great actor, the audience needs more Transporter movies.

The Transporter trilogy is streaming on Hulu.

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