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March 05, 2020

Jason Statham drops out of Kevin Hart movie 'The Man from Toronto'

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Jason Statham Hart CraSH/imageSPACE/Sipa USA

Jason Statham dropped out of "The Man from Toronto" over creative differences with studio Sony Pictures. He was expected to star alongside Philadelphia native Kevin Hart.

Actor Jason Statham will no longer star alongside Kevin Hart in "The Man from Toronto," a film that had been slated to start shooting some time in the spring.

A creative dispute between Statham and studio Sony Pictures led to a parting of ways just six weeks before production was expected to begin. 

The "Transporter" star reportedly wanted the film to be R-rated, while Sony Pictures had plans to make the movie a family-friendly PG-13 title to be released ahead of Thanksgiving on Nov. 20, 2020, Deadline reported. 

In "The Man from Toronto," Statham was tapped to play the world's deadliest assassin. He's forced to team up with Teddy, played by Kevin Hart, after the two are mistaken for one another at an Airbnb rental. Though they have to save the day, the two have a much harder time coexisting with one another.

Hart's character is described as a screw-up from New York City, which sounds like a role the Philadelphia native could manage by now with his eyes closed.

Statham, who recently completed work on Guy Ritchie's "Cash Truck," reportedly left "The Man from Toronto" before a pay-or-play deal would have contractually guaranteed him payment without appearing in the project. After the mix-up, Statham also reportedly parted ways with WME, the agency that had been representing him.

Sony Pictures has reportedly reached out to other stars to fill the role, but no names were made public. Hart's attachment to the project has thus far not changed as a result of Statham's exit.

It's unclear whether the movie will still be on track for a release later this year.