‘Collateral’ and ‘The Transporter’ Take Place in the Same Universe!!

There is a long-held online fan theory that Jason Statham’s character in the action-thriller Collateral is the same character Frank Martin he played in The Transporter series. The theory that the two movies are in the same universe, which The Transporter’s helmer Louis Letterier had previously indicated, has also now been confirmed by Collateral screenwriter Stuart Beattie.

For over a decade, an online theory has circulated that Frank Martin, as played by Statham, is the same character in both Collateral and The Transporter. As explained in a report by Dark Horizons, Statham’s brief two-line cameo at the beginning of Collateral was only credited as ‘Airport Man’ in Michael Mann’s 2004 film. Statham bumps into Tom Cruise’s character, Vincent, at LAX as part of a bag-swapping handoff. Fans believe that Airport Man is actually Frank Martin from The Transporter movies. In the movies, Statham plays the titular character (with Ed Skrein taking over the role in the 2015 reboot), a former special operations officer living in southern France as a highly skilled driver and mercenary.

Beattie has now confirmed the theory as being canon, despite joking that the studio would not admit it. “Absolutely Frank Martin of Transporter,” Beattie said about Statham’s Frank Martin when speaking on the Collateral Confessions podcast. “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.” Beattie wrote the screenplay for the film, first coming up with the idea after taking a taxi home from Sydney airport when he was seventeen-years-old. During the ride, he thought about what could happen when a driver nonchalantly conversed with his passenger, unaware of the passenger’s true identity as a homicidal maniac. The original work was titled The Last Domino, before it eventually transformed into the film script many years later.

The theory that the two characters are the same was originally confirmed in 2005. In an interview with IGN, Letterier, who directed the first two Transporter films, explained that Frank Martin did indeed appear in the 2004 film. When speaking about the future of the franchise, Letterier hinted that Frank Martin would continue to appear in other directors’ movies. “He’ll just be a cameo in other people’s movies; in Michael Mann’s movies,” Letterier said, hinting at the appearance in Collateral. When this came out, neither Mann nor other crew members of Collateral confirmed his statement.

Nonetheless, The Transporter films and Collateral still remain to be separate universes created by the two different studios, their only connection being the use of the same actor (Statham). The Transporter franchise comprises three films, directed by Leterrier and Corey Yuen and written by Luc Besson, in which mercenary driver for hire Frank Martin will deliver anything, anywhere, with no questions asked, as long as the client pays the right price. He operates on three rules: never change the deal, no names, and never open the package, which he inevitably violates himself.

Collateral, on the other hand, stars Cruise as Vincent, a passenger of Los Angeles cab driver Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx). After Max agrees to break regulations and accepts a high-priced fare from Vincent, he is dragged into the hitman’s criminal escapades. The 2004 film also features Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, Javier Bardem, and Bruce McGill.

The Transporter is currently streaming on Netflix. Collateral is currently streaming on Paramount+, HBO Max, and Netflix.


via Collider

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