Collateral writer Stuart Beattie confirms a long-held fan theory about Jason Statham’s character that connects that film and The Transporter. Although Statham is now best known for roles in hit films like Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and The Meg, many viewers will still associate the action star with his role as Frank Martin in The Transporter franchise. Released in 2002, Louis Leterrier’s The Transporter features Statham’s character as a driver/mercenary who strikes back at the criminals who hired him after a job goes wrong.
Released 2 years later, in 2004, Collateral shares little in common with The Transporter, at least on the surface. The film, which is directed by Michael Mann, stars Jamie Foxx as Max, a cab driver who finds himself in a fight for his life after picking up a hitman named Vincent, played by a gray-haired Tom Cruise. Before the action really begins, however, Collateral features a brief cameo from Statham, who passes off a briefcase to Vincent and is featured in the credits as “Airport Man.” Although appearing in the film for only a few seconds, Statham’s brief cameo in Collateral sparked fan theories online, with many claiming Statham appears in the film as his Transporter character, Frank.
In a new interview with the Collateral Confessions podcast, Beattie confirms that Jason Statham is indeed playing Frank Martin from The Transporter in his brief scenes in Collateral, meaning the two movies take place in the same universe. Beattie confirms that he’s spoken to Statham about the connection and says definitively, “Yes, it’s canon.” The writer also jokes, however, that this isn’t something that the studio would ever admit to. Check out Beattie’s full comment below:
“Absolutely Frank Martin of Transporter. I asked Jason about that… Yeah, absolutely. Yes, it’s canon. Same world… the studio will never admit to that, but in my head, absolutely it’s him.”
Will Jason Statham Ever Return To The Transporter Franchise?
After three outings as Frank, Statham departed the Transporter franchise in 2008. Following a TV show adaptation that lasted only 2 seasons, with Chris Vance playing Frank, The Transporter: Refueled saw the role recast once more with Ed Skrein in an attempted 2015 reboot. The film earned primarily negative reviews from both audiences and critics alike and the franchise has essentially been left untouched ever since. In 2015, Statham opened up about why he never returned as Frank for any additional films, revealing that the studio wanted to lock him in for a new Transporter trilogy in 2013, but he passed on the offer because he was unsatisfied with the amount of money he was being offered.
Although it’s been a popular theory for years, Beattie’s confirmation that Collateral takes place in the same universe as The Transporter is sure to be a welcome development for many fans. Statham has been keeping busy with the Fast & Furious franchise in recent years, in addition to a planned return in Expendables 4, but a return to the Transporter franchise still isn’t necessarily off the table. With almost 10 years having passed since negotiations fell apart over his return to the franchise, it’s certainly possible that a new contract may be enough to pull Statham back to Transporter universe.