Just one week ago, Sony Pictures had a sudden problem with their action comedy The Man from Toronto starring Jason Statham and Kevin Hart. After creative differences came to a head between Statham and the studio, the Hobbs & Shaw star left the production only a few weeks before shooting was slated to begin. However, since Sony was hoping not to delay the film’s release slated for this fall, they’ve quickly replaced Jason Statham with Woody Harrelson.
Variety has the news on The Man from Toronto cast replacing Jason Statham with Woody Harrelson. It makes us wonder if there was a mandate that the character have a shaved head, since both Statham and Harrelson have made that into something of a trademark. Is that weird speculation to make? Sure, but that’s just where my mind went.
Harrelson doesn’t often star in action comedies, but one of his biggest successes in the genre were at Sony with the Zombieland franchise. If we’re counting the Now You See Me franchise, then that doubles his work in the genre. Otherwise, Harrelson either plays it serious, whether it’s in the drama, sci-fi or thriller genres, or he goes full comedy like Semi-Pro or The Grand. So it’ll be interesting to see how he fares alongside Kevin Hart. For those who haven’t kept up with The Man from Toronto, the movie follows Woody Harrelson as the titular assassin, one of the best in the world, who is forced to team up with a screw-up named Teddy (Kevin Hart) in New York when they are mistaken for each other in an Airbnb. The two must stop some kind of nefarious plot, but obviously they don’t get along very well and hilarity ensues.
The real test of whether or not this film works will be the chemistry between Harrelson and Hart. If they can drum up the same kind of camaraderie that Harrelson had with Wesley Snipes in White Men Can’t Jump, then we could be looking at something great. At the very least, hopefully this team-up is something that measures up to Kevin Hart’s work with Dwayne Johnson, which has been mostly satisfying.
Patrick Hughes (The Hitman’s Bodyguard) is directing from a script by Robbie Fox, based on a story he cracked with Jason Blumenthal, who is also producing along with Escape Artists partners Todd Black and Steve Tisch. The Man from Toronto is set to hit theaters on November 20, 2020.