The Beekeeper, Jason Statham’s follow-up film, sounds a lot like a remake of two of his previous films.

The Beekeeper, Jason Statham’s follow-up film, sounds a lot like a remake of two of his previous films.

Jason Statham’s follow-up to action hit The Beekeeper really sounds like he’s remaking two of his previous movies. When Statham made his debut in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, few could have predicted he would become the next big action star. Over the last 20 years, Jason Statham’s action movies have become the go-to source for big screen genre fans, be it The Transporter movies, Crank, or more recent offerings like The Meg. Like most action stars, Statham has settled into a familiar formula in terms of the projects he picks and the type of roles he plays.

On that front, 2024’s The Beekeeper has become one of Statham’s biggest solo hits. The combination of a simple but unique premise, a great supporting cast and David Ayer’s assured direction make the film a familiar dish that was nevertheless served with some style. Needless to say, The Beekeeper 2 will likely happen and will no doubt dive deeper into the mythology surrounding the titular group of operatives.

Jason Statham’s Next Film Sounds Like A Remake Of Both Beekeeper And Homefront
Levon’s Trade isn’t breaking any molds for Jason Statham

Before a potential Beekeeper sequel, Statham’s next movie Levon’s Trade re-teams him with Expendables co-star Sylvester Stallone. While the latter won’t appear in the movie – or at least, that hasn’t been announced currently – he penned the screenplay, based on the novel by Chuck Dixon. The movie will cast Statham as Levon Cade, a former Special Forces operative involved in a custody battle with his father-in-law over his young daughter. To earn some extra cash, Cade agrees to search for his boss’ missing daughter and he ends up picking up his former trade.

On the surface, the upcoming film doesn’t sound far off Taken, but it bears a close resemblance to two of Statham’s other action hits. In fact, Levon’s Trade sounds like somebody describing the plots of Statham’s Beekeeper and Homefront, but getting the details confused. Homefront – which was also penned by Stallone from the novel by Chuck Logan – sees Statham’s retired DEA agent trying to live in peace with his young daughter. When drug dealers threaten said peace, Statham’s Broker gets punching.

In The Beekeeper, Statham’s title character is a retired Special Forces operative trying to live a quiet life. When someone he cares about gets hurt, he punches/kicks/shoots his way to the top. Of course, “retired badass picks up former life to gain revenge” is hardly an original concept, but Levon’s Trade is sticking very close to formula for Statham. To add further to the confusion, Beekeeper’s David Ayer is also helming Levon’s Trade.

Levon’s Trade Needs To Distinguish Itself From Beekeeper

Audiences can’t walk in thinking the film is The Beekeeper: Part 2

Describing the plot of Dixon’s novel, it’s easy to picture what the eventual trailer will look like. To succeed, Levon’s Trade must set itself apart from Beekeeper visually and tonally. What helped the latter movie become a hit was both its colorful tone and the fact that everyone – Statham aside – played the story like a comedy. What happens in the film is totally absurd, and Ayer had fun constantly raising the stakes while keeping tongue somewhat in cheek.

Levon’s Trade sounds like it will be a more grounded vigilante thriller, and it would be a mistake for Ayer and Statham to repeat what made their last action movie click. Considering they might both return for The Beekeeper 2, it would be smart to keep the two projects distinct in viewers’ minds. Added to the fact it’s not a million miles from Homefront’s premise, giving Levon’s Trade a different feel is even more important.

Levon’s Trade Needs To Avoid The Mistakes Made By Homefront
Homefront literally went about creating a franchise the wrong way

Homefront was a comfortable success for Statham in 2013, but it’s little remembered now. The film adapted the Phil Broker books, and while it didn’t leave any obvious sequel bait behind, there were clearly hopes it would launch a new series.

That didn’t come to pass, because Homefront felt like the third installment in a franchise, not the first. This issue was inherent from the outset, as it adapted the last Phil Broker novel, instead of the beginning with the original book The Price of Blood.

By the time the credits were scrolling, the story of Jason Statham’s Broker felt complete. Levon’s Trade already fixes Homefront’s mistake by adapting the first Levon Cade book, so if the upcoming adaptation clicks with audiences, there are nine other books a sequel could pull from. Ayer’s upcoming adaptation – like The Beekeeper – can feel like the start of the title character’s journey, and not the finale.

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