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David Ayer will direct Jason Statham’s The Beekeeper

Jason Statham’s big-screen characters have done everything from teaming up with other action icons to taking on a Megalodon shark. But Statham’s next character is set to enter the unexpectedly dangerous world of beekeepers. And now, the project has a director. Via Deadline, Suicide Squad helmer David Ayer has signed on to direct The Beekeeper.

According to the report, Miramax is hoping that The Beekeeper can become an action franchise. Deadline calls it a “fast-paced action-thriller, which is steeped in the mythology of beekeeping.” Statham’s character is a man on the path of vengeance with “national stakes.” He is also a former operative of the secret group who call themselves the Beekeepers. Salt screenwriter Kurt Wimmer wrote The Beekeeper on spec and successfully sold it to Miramax last fall.

Prior to becoming a director, Ayer wrote the screenplays for Training Day, S.W.A.T., and The Fast and the Furious. His directorial credits include Harsh Times, Street Kings, End of Watch, Sabotage, Fury, and Bright. Ayer’s most recent film was the crime thriller, The Tax Collector.

Jason Statham in Safe.

As noted by Deadline, both Ayer and Statham have a history at Miramax. Statham starred in Guy Ritchie’s Wrath of Man and Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre, both of which were produced by Miramax. The studio was also behind Ayer’s Fury.

Miramax’s Bill Block will produce the film. He also shared a statement to confirm the news:

“Having collaborated with Jason on Wrath Of Man and Operation Fortune, and with David on Fury, we are fortunate to partner with these masters of the new action genre to bring Kurt’s brilliant script to the first installment of this franchise.”

There isn’t currently a start date for The Beekeeper. Miramax is reportedly going to shop the film around  “at the upcoming Cannes market.” But it may take a few years before the project hits theaters.

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