Beekeeper: Release Date, Cast, And More For David Ayer's New Jason Statham Action Movie

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If you're not tired of seeing middle-aged action stars play characters seeking vengeance under the guise of a clandestine organization, then I have the perfect film for you. Go to your nearest store or digital marketplace and purchase/rent "John Wick," or wait a few months for a brand-new film franchise that will almost certainly look to recapture the magic of the Keanu Reeves-led series. Enter: "Beekeeper."

The previously-announced "Beekeeper" has Jason Statham leading another action flick, this time joining forces with director David Ayer. And in all seriousness, this could be a major treat for fans of the genre. It boasts an intriguing logline and could potentially launch an all-new original film series with some exciting talent. The cast just got bigger, too. Deadline reports that Jeremy Irons and a few other familiar faces have recently joined the project, which is currently filming in the UK.

While details are tough to find, there is enough to get excited about (and a bit worried, too).

What we know about the plot

"Beekeeper" will follow one man's (Statham) brutal path of vengeance that turns into a national affair when it is revealed that he is a former operative of a clandestine organization known as, you guessed it, the Beekeepers. Although that's pretty much all we know about the story at this point, we expect the film to be adult-oriented and possibly rated-R. After all, the filmmakers attached to "Beekeepers" are accustomed to working in those parameters.

"Beekeeper" is meant to kick off a brand-new action franchise, as well. And while plot details remain scarce, Miramax CEO Bill Block previously described the film in broad terms:

"The Beekeeper explores universal themes with an unconventional story that will have fans sitting on the edge of their seats. We're excited to bring another iconic and irresistible film to audiences around the globe."

When it might come out

No official release date has been set for "Beekeeper," but we expect the film to hit theaters next year. It is currently undergoing principal photography in the United Kingdom after starting back in September. At the earliest, I'd presume a Spring or early Summer release window is in the cards. "The Wrath of Man," Statham's previous collaboration with MGM, founds its way into theaters in May 2021 after being delayed a few months due to the pandemic. 

Barring no delays (or significant additional photography), a 2023 release date seems par for the course.

Here's the ensemble cast and crew

In addition to Irons, the supporting cast includes Emmy Raver-Lampman, Bobby Naderi and Josh Hutcherson. Raver-Lampman is becoming a household name, having played Allison Hargreeves in "The Umbrella Academy" and Angelica in the stage play "Hamilton." Naderi reunites with Ayer after playing Arkashian in Netflix's "Bright." Meanwhile, Hutcherson makes his return to blockbuster filmmaking, having portrayed Peeta in the multi-billion dollar franchise "The Hunger Games." With a solid supporting cast to boot, Statham is joined by some heavy hitters on his latest action-packed venture.

In the director's chair, things are a bit shaky. Ayer's track record has not been spotless as of late. He followed up the poorly-received but box office smash-hit "Suicide Squad" with "Bright" and the straight-to-digital "Tax Collector" featuring Shia LaBeouf. That said, Ayer is no stranger to quality cinema, having delivered "Fury" and "End of Watch" before diving into the superhero genre. Perhaps "Beekeeper" will be his long-awaited return to form.

Ayer adapts a script by "Salt" and "Point Break" screenwriter Kurt Wimmer. "Wrath of Man" producer Bill Block is attached to the project under Miramax, which was purchased for U.S. distribution by MGM. Statham continues his relationship with Miramax after releasing "Wrath of Man" from Guy Ritchie at the height of the pandemic early last year.

Based on talent alone, the "Beekeeper" should be a project to look out for in 2023. However, expectations for a "Transporter"-level franchise might be better tempered for a fun time at the theaters.