Guy Ritchie has said it was a “happy accident” that he got to work alongside Jason Statham again for their new action film, more than 15 years on from their last collaboration.
The director and actor previously worked on hit crime films Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels in 1998 and 2000’s Snatch, with their last movie together being 2005’s Revolver before their careers diverged.
They have reunited for the new revenge thriller Wrath Of Man, starring Statham, 54, as the mysterious character “H”, who joins an LA-based security company and, after he is targeted in an armed robbery attempt, reveals his combat skills.
— Wrath of Man (@WrathFilm) July 24, 2021
Ritchie, 53, told the PA news agency: “I was pretty chummy with Jason anyway, I see quite a lot of him. But it almost felt like a too convenient coincidence, Jason over there and I’ve got the script over here, and who else could play it?
“In hindsight, I’m still wondering who else could have played that role, so that was a happy accident as far as I was concerned.”
Reflecting on their relationship since they first worked together on Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, he said: “It’s at least 22 years since we did the first one. Which is quite a big jump, 22 years, right?
“So he doesn’t really look any different, I’m just fatter… And outside of that, there really hasn’t seemed to be much that’s changed in those 22 years.”
Ritchie and Statham have both gone on to have successful careers, with the latter featuring in the action film franchises The Expendables and Fast & Furious.
Ritchie said: “He certainly did the first few movies with me but since then, I mean, it’s very hard to sustain a career in the direction that he’s gone in and he sadly has to take the credit for that. If I could, I would.
“He’s done very well and good for him, and it makes my life easier working with someone that people will actually go and see.
“And I enjoy working with him, and I just like him as a bloke anyway, and who else could have been that person? I don’t know. So there’s all sorts of conspiracy of convenient reasons for me as to why I had to use him.”
Wrath Of Man, which is based on the 2004 French film Le Convoyeur, also stars Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Hartnett, Niamh Algar, Laz Alonso, Scott Eastwood and Eddie Marsan.
The British director told PA his “principal challenge” with adapting the original French source material was making it “accessible and interesting” but feels this is the darkest film he has created so far.
He also described it as a heist/revenge/action film and said it was informed by “70s simple revenge movies” and he hopes elements of that will come through in the movie.
Rap star Post Malone also makes a cameo within the production.
Ritchie admitted he had not previously heard of the Better Now singer before he arrived on set but said he was the “nicest, most polite man in the world” and that due to all the production team “falling in love with him” he was given lines in the film.
Guy Ritchie’s Wrath Of Man is available to stream on Prime Video now.