Among Tom Cruise’s long list of action blockbusters, his 2004’s Collateral is often overlooked by the general audience, but a substantial amount of fans consider it one of his best works. Even though the movie comprises a lot of aspects that strengthen its quality, including one of Cruise’s finest performances, Jason Statham’s mystery appearance in the film left the audience startled for years.
Considering that nothing was confirmed about the character except for just being labeled as the Airport Man, many considered him to be Frank Martin from The Transporter Franchise. And it seems that was the case all along.
Jason Statham’s Frank Martin and Tom Cruise’s Vincent share the same universe
Jason Statham has been part of some of the most beloved action franchises of the modern era. But before showcasing his driving skills in the Fast and Furious franchise, he was known for his work in The Transporter franchise. Playing the role of Frank Martin garnered a lot of buzz around the actor and following his cameo in Tom Cruise‘s Collateral, fans believed that Statham was reprising the role of Frank Martin. Although this was never confirmed and fans speculated for years whether the two universes were connected or not, the screenwriter eventually confirmed the theory. He said,
“[Airport Man is] absolutely Frank Martin of Transporter,” Beattie said. “I asked Jason about that […] Yeah, absolutely. Yes, it’s canon. Same world…. the studio will never admit to that, but in my head, absolutely it’s him.”
Although The Transporter movies weren’t some of Statham’s biggest releases, there were several planned movies with him in the mix, but the actor declined the offer due to business reasons.
Jason Statham explained his reason behind not returning for more Transporter movies
Despite each of The Transporter entries, starring Jason Statham, doing decent at the box office, the actor declined the offer to return for three more movies. According to the Fast and Furious star, the studio reportedly wanted him to sign for the role without even giving him a script and he wasn’t offered a favorable paycheck for the follow-ups. He said,
“You know what? It was obviously a great experience doing those films, and I would have loved to keep doing it. But they wanted me to sign on and do three more films without even seeing a script, and they offered me less money to do three than I’d get paid for one!”
Even though it would have been cool to witness Tom Cruise’s Collateral and Jason Statham’s Transporter worlds collide more, fans were relieved after Stuart Beattie confirmed the theory.
Collateral is available to stream on Netflix.