All of Vin Diesel’s loyal fans can now breathe a collective sigh of relief. According to Variety, Wheelman, the game starring Diesel as a (shocker) ass kicking aggressive driver with serious road rage, is to finally be made into a major motion picture. John Singelton (2 Fast 2 Furious) has been brought on to direct and Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, and G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra) is set to produce the upcoming film.
That’s a decent action pedigree, and Diesel is consistently passable as the cocky street racer he always seems to play. Still, I have a few reservations about this project. 1) This project has been victim to some serious delays ever since it was announced back in 2006. One has to wonder how much corporate will is behind a film that no one, save for the aforementioned Diesel fanatics, is really excited to see. 2) As our review back in April discussed, Wheelman the game was “like playing a second rate action movie”. It didn’t have much substance beyond the superficial thrills you experience in the first 5 minutes, and if the movie is to have any worth, they’re going to have to overhaul the whole plot and completely make up some character development. That said, Fast and Furious did pretty well at the box office, grossing over $70 million in its opening weekend and $145 million overall.
We’ll have to see how well Singelton handles what will inevitably be a mediocre script, and if he can inject the required nitrous fueled chases in order to make this film successful. At the moment, Wheelman the movie is in preproduction, as Paramount is waiting for di Bonaventura to finish up his work on Salt, starring Angelina Jolie. We’ll update this story when a release date and more details are confirmed.