Some cool action guys, for all of their individual merits, are relatively interchangeable. This, let’s be honest, is not that. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Jason Statham has “abruptly backed out” of The Man From Toronto, an action-comedy starring Kevin Hart from Hitman’s Bodyguard director Patrick Hughes, with the studio quickly replacing him with Woody Harrelson. It’s kind of a weird pivot, but THR says Sony—which is behind the film—likes what it saw from Harrelson in Zombieland: Double Tap and the upcoming Venom sequel. Also, Spy aside, Statham doesn’t have a ton of comedy chops, so Harrelson has a slight advantage there even if he doesn’t do as many straight action movies as the guy he’s replacing.
The plot of The Man From Toronto involves “the world’s deadliest assassin” and “a New York screw-up” meeting at an Airbnb and then somehow getting swept up in a “clash with deadly killers.” In other words, it’s the classic “serious action guy meets wacky regular guy” set-up that you’ve probably seen in other movies (including some other Kevin Hart movies), but this one has Woody Harrelson. Interestingly, Statham’s issue with the project was apparently that he wanted it to go for an R-rating, but Sony was determined to make a movie for a “broader” audience. It seems like a weird thing to leave a job over, but maybe Statham really had some four-letter words he felt like saying.
The Man From Toronto is supposed to come out on November 20.