Cinemax Finds Their 'Transporter' in Chris Vance

When "The Transporter" came out in 2002, the last thing I thought was that it would turn into a franchise. I certainly had no conception that anyone would make a TV show from it. And yet here we are, casting a show on - of all networks - Cinemax.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Chris Vance has been cast in the role made...famous? Jason Statham. You might not know who Chris Vance is, but it looks like if you've seen much of "Prison Break," "Mental," "Burn Notice," or "Dexter," you've probably seen him. Anyway, he seems like your standard-issue British tough guy.

No word on how the show will fit into the "Transporter" mythology, or if they'll even make an attempt at a cohesive world, but Vance promises it will offer the same delights: "It's high octane, Fast-paced. Action-packed," he told EW, and then began listing random nouns, "Car chases. Stunts. Fights. Beautiful girls. Villains. Heroes. Guns. It should be a lot of fun."

He did mention something in the interview that I hadn't really thought of before now that we're sort of in the heyday of the action television series - the endurance required.

"I'm on a fitness program at the moment," he said, when asked if he had to do any martial arts training. "It's more stamina work than anything, because we will be shooting for five months and that's a long time to sustain all the physical activities that we've got on the show."

A typical run-and-gun action movie like the "Transporter" films might take two or three months to shoot. A big epic like "The Dark Knight" might take much longer, but they also space out their action scenes on their schedule. With an action series, you're probably looking at at least one fight scene each week, and five months of that can wear on an actor.

Cinemax, of course, still has the reputation of all things trashy, and they're going to have that working against them if they want to attract new viewers. If anyone can wrangle the trashy demographic looking for a little class in their programming, though, it'd be executive producer and "Transporter" creator Luc Besson.