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Will We Ever Get a (Shocking) Third Film in Jason Statham's Crank Series?
Jason Statham seems down for another adrenaline jolt…but is shock number three one too many?
They don’t really make movies like Crank (2006) and Crank: High Voltage, its 2009 sequel, these days. Lewd, crude, and so implausibly over the top that it’s hard to tell whether their impossible action ideas came from science fiction, Saturday morning cartoons, or something far worse, they’re a gonzo pair of movies (both streaming now at Peacock) that purposely ditch immersive stories for immersive, firsthand thrills — and boy, on that count, they definitely deliver.
Both films star Jason Statham as Chev Chelios, a hitman targeted by his vendetta-minded L.A. underworld peers with deviously ridiculous revenge schemes that amount to ticking time-bomb death sentences. In Crank, Chev’s been dosed with an exotic injection that slows his heart and will kill him unless he keeps his adrenaline at the redline. In Crank: High Voltage, the stakes gleefully surge to even sillier heights: Chev’s heart gets replaced with an artificial device that periodically needs a jolt of pure electricity, if, that is, he wants it to keep ticking.
Neither Crank film did circuit-frying numbers at the box office, but each also garnered a hardcore audience of followers who deeply appreciated their devil-may-care disposition toward movie convention — even by R-rated standards — and good taste. Like the Farrelly brothers’ There’s Something About Mary back in 1998, the Crank movies delighted in giving the finger (both figuratively, and, at the end of High Voltage, even literally) to boundaries of every kind — including audiences’ willingness to suspend disbelief at Statham’s athletic, oh-no-he-didn’t pair of always-on performances.
Will They Ever Make a Third Crank Film?
Just about everyone involved in making the Crank films (including Staham) has expressed interest at some point in shocking the franchise back to life with a third movie, but for the most part, chatter about a potential Crank 3 has quieted down in recent years. “We’ve been talking for years about Crank 3,” Statham hopefully told Entertainment Weekly back in 2015, explaining his admiration for writing-directing duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
“The first Crank, for me, was such a great experience,” Statham said. “It’s a wacky few weeks that you have with such talented directors. There’s no rules when you’re doing the Crank movies. We just keep going: ‘How are we going to get this off the ground?’ They have a loose idea [for Crank 3]. They haven’t written the script.”
Rather more recently, Taylor shed some light on how a changing entertainment culture makes a third Crank movie not exactly impossible, but definitely a more delicate proposition than in the past. “I don't think you could make Crank in today's climate,” he confided to Comicbook.com in 2018, citing the first two films’ “disrespectful, politically incorrect quality” as a tough Hollywood sell, with more than a decade separating his 2018 remarks from the original Crank.
“The one thing that I won't do is sort of like a cheap, boring, tame version of the Crank movie,” he added. “There's been opportunities to do that, and there's definitely been opportunities to just, for purely financial reasons, make a version that I think Crank fans would find lame. I'm just not going to do it. There's a lot of ideas for it. There's a lot of great ideas for a Crank movie, but it's got to be cool. Everybody's head's got to be in the right place. It has to be made for the right reasons. It's got to be creatively driven.”
Since then, the juice has all but slowed to a trickle on fresh news that might spark fans’ Crank sequel wattage back to life. But in spite of Hollywood’s recently-heightened reluctance to embrace entertainment with no surge protection in place for shock value, Taylor still has managed to fry a few OMG moments right past the ol’ socket: He directed Christopher Meloni through two seasons of SYFY’s wacked-out adult comedy Happy! (2017-2019), while writing or co-writing the majority of the series' seriously raunchy episodes.
Where to Stream the First 2 Crank Movies
It’s tough to top a sequel that featured a guy with a draining battery for a heart, but if Crank: High Voltage ends up being the last Crank, we get it at least leaves the franchise humming at its highest possible frequency. Catch both Crank and Crank: High Voltage streaming now at Peacock, and save the date for May 19, when Statham is set to reprise his Fast Saga role as Deckard Shaw in Fast X (get tickets now!).