In addition to Statham, there are countless other examples. Daniel Craig, Vin Diesel, Keanu Reeves, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sean Connery are the most familiar in the movie franchises. The TV show series include relative newbies like Anthoney Starr, Toby Stephens, Ray Stevenson, Kevin McKidd, and then older actors who made the transition from the big screen to the small, like Jim Caviesel and James Spader.
So star power is important for the success of a franchise or series. Sometimes producers have rolled the dice and won. Statham was not an A-lister when he was cast for The Transporter, but they rolled the dice on him and he turned out to be a winner. Other times producers don't roll the dice. Instead, they go with a proven star, like Keanu Reeves, who was already an A-lister when he was cast as the lead in John Wick.
So for Killer of Killers it would be a roll of the dice to cast either Dustin Clare or Georges St. Pierre. I'm on record as being okay with either one of them as Trent Smith, the world's greatest martial artist. Both are capable fighters on screen, as St. Pierre is a world champion in real life, which would sure add a ton of authenticity to his casting for the part. But can he act? That's the question. Clare can. There's no question.
What about the female role? I used to think Amber Heard would be right for the part. She certainly looks the part. A beautiful blonde woman in her prime. But there is one question hanging over my shoulder. Can she act? I have not seen any indication that she can. The bit parts she's had in the few movies she's been in are inconclusive. And I hear nothing in the news or internet that makes me think she can. And the fact that her roles are so few and in such minor movies, reinforces that.
Which makes me want to think other actresses would be better for the part. Actresses whom I know can act. Two come to mind. Hannah New from Black Sails and Lili Simmons from Banshee. They can act very well, at least they did in those TV shows. I haven't seen them in much else, so I'm waiting to see about that. Still, I've been convinced. They are pretty enough, and they can act. Here's waiting to see how it comes to be.