'Transporter' Star Enters New 'Death Race'

Jason Statham is set to get behind the wheel of the Paul W.S. Anderson's remake of "Death Race 2000."

Currently titled merely "Death Race," the futuristic car race thriller will be produced by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner through their C/W Prods. banner.

Originally the remake of the Roger Corman-produced cult classic was intended as a starring vehicle for Cruise, set up at Paramount. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal has stepped in to grab "Death Race" in its newer, presumably cheaper, incarnation.

Although the trade paper doesn't specify, it appears that Statham will step into David Carradine's tight pants as Frankenstein, the legendary champion of a cross-country race in which drivers can earn points by killing civilians and other drivers. The original co-starred a young Sylvester Stallone as the evil Machine Gun Joe Viterbo.

Anderson ("Resident Evil") is also scripting "Death Race," which may be ready to shoot as early as late summer or early fall.

Statham was most recently seen in last fall's "Crank." The "Transporter" and "Snatch" star will next appear in the Uwe Boll epic "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale."