Jason Statham has never rocketed to the top and put B-Action back on the A-list in the way many hoped he and a few other 2nd gen action titans would, but he’s definitely maintained a respectable action-centered career in a way, say, The Rock has not. Not only that, but he’s also found himself popping up in more edgy or interesting (if not always successful) action films that show his willingness to do something interesting with his ability to destroy ass*. It is for these reasons that he was such a perfect candidate to help Stallone lead the biggest cast of musclemen ever assembled, and that he was the star of what might be the craziest goddamn pair of action films ever made. Statham was happy to talk about both of them when he talked with Frosty at Collider, where he discussed the respective outlooks for both franchises- outlooks that are pretty much polar opposites of one another.

Starting off with The Expendables he makes it very clear that he’s “very positive it will happen,” and that’s he’s fully on board with doing it. In fact, at this point he’s not really scheduled much for the year as he’s waiting to hear from Stallone about a greenlight.

Yes I have heard about a sequel and I’d be the first to say yes to a phone call from Sly. I mean, we spoke about it as soon as the movie started to do really well and he says, ‘you know, it would be great to do this again,’ and if there’s anyone who can do a good sequel it’s Sly Stallone! He’s done a fair amount. Yeah, we had a good time. It’s something I’d like to repeat.

This is more fuel for a fire that was started when the first film made quick and serious cash at the box office, sealing a cameo-packed sequel as a forgone conclusion. The Expendables was one of the most beloved films of last year around CHUD, even if Damon and I are not necessarily on the same frequency as Nick and the chaps from the B-Action Thread (who now have their own excellent column!). Considering Nick was able to have delightful chats with the lovely Dolph Lundgren, the splendid Randy Couture, and the heavenly Terry Crews, he’s probably the winner.

This is probably not shocking news to anyone, but it’s worth mentioning that Statham did talk a little bit about the idea of a Crank 3, pretty much confirming it will never go beyond being just an idea.

Yeah, it was absolutely nuts, which reflects exactly who those two are. I don’t know, whether we’ll do another one? Who knows? I just know we had a great…working with those two guys is not like working with anybody else. I mean, they are absolutely mad as hatters. And Neveldine, moved to the country not so long ago, and has been living a different kind of life. I don’t know how plugged in he is to doing a third one.

Neveldine and his partner in crime Taylor have been busy writing the script for Jonah Hex (which is commonly regarded as a good genre script translated poorly to screen) and taking over Ghost Rider 2. With the guys behind Crank taking on a hell-powered flaming skull man portrayed by Nic Cage of all people, I have no doubt they’re still on a quest to create the Perfect Storm of cinematic bug-nuts craziness. Sheer economics tells us that Crank is destined to remain a pair of films though, never blossoming into a full trilogy of insanity. I think this is a shame, because the films are beautiful exercises in the destruction of subtlety and taste, and I love them both. If I have any complaint about the films, it’s that they do stop and do have moments where the action is slowed down, and when I’m in the state of mind that Crank puts me in… that’s simply unacceptable. I would have loved a third Crank film, preferably one that does. not. stop. for. a. second. and that would represent the ultimate exercise in adrenaline-based cinematic mayhem. Oh well. Maybe I’m the only one.

In any event, cross your fingers that Sly makes that call soon. There’s no reason for Statham to be sitting on ass waiting, when he could be out doing what he does best- pandemoniuming.

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*I’m still bummed The Transporter turned into an out-and-out franchise instead of a series of smaller character appearances in other action movies. That would have made for great fun over the years.