Donald Westlake, under the pseudonym Richard Stark, created an iconic character in Parker — a cold, methodical and violent career criminal who first appeared in the 1962 novel The Hunter. He has since been played by Lee Marvin (as Walker) in John Boorman’s bizarre classic Point Blank, Robert Duvall (as Earl Macklin) in The Outfit, and Mel Gibson (as Porter) in Payback, not to mention seen a recent revival in graphic novel form thanks to Darwyn Cooke’s terrific adaptations (the first to use the name Parker with Westlake’s blessing). Which brings us to 2012 and this new Taylor Hackford-directed adaptation titled Parker, starring English action hero/constipated actor Jason Statham (The Transporter) in the titular role. The trailer features generic action, Michael Chiklis in cliché villain mode, some awful disguises and accents, Nick Nolte phoning it in (literally), and Jennifer Lopez stripping. The entire thing looks like a disappointing abomination, and I’m sure Westlake would be rolling in his grave if he knew the first film to use his beloved character’s name was just another rote Statham movie.
Parker hits US cinemas on January 25, 2013, and will probably be available on DVD not much later. Check out the first trailer and lame poster below (via The Playlist).