Will Jason Stathamโ€™s Crank Series Ever See a (Shocking) Third Film?

They donโ€™t really make movies like Crank (2006) and Crank: High Voltage, its 2009 sequel, these days. Lewd, crude, and so implausibly over the top that itโ€™s hard to tell whether their impossible action ideas came from science fiction, Saturday morning cartoons, or something far worse, theyโ€™re a gonzo pair of movies (both streaming now at Peacock) that purposely ditch immersive stories for immersive, firsthand thrills โ€” and boy, on that count, they definitely deliver.

Both films star Jason Statham as Chev Chelios, a hitman targeted by his vendetta-minded L.A. underworld peers with deviously ridiculous revenge schemes that amount to ticking time-bomb death sentences. In Crank, Chevโ€™s been dosed with an exotic injection that slows his heart and will kill him unless he keeps his adrenaline at the redline. In Crank: High Voltage, the stakes gleefully surge to even sillier heights: Chevโ€™s heart gets replaced with an artificial device that periodically needs a jolt of pure electricity, if, that is, he wants it to keep ticking.

Neither Crank film did circuit-frying numbers at the box office, but each also garnered a hardcore audience of followers who deeply appreciated their devil-may-care disposition toward movie convention โ€” even by R-rated standards โ€” and good taste. Like the Farrelly brothersโ€™ Thereโ€™s Something About Mary back in 1998, the Crank movies delighted in giving the finger (both figuratively, and, at the end of High Voltage, even literally) to boundaries of every kind โ€” including audiencesโ€™ willingness to suspend disbelief at Stathamโ€™s athletic, oh-no-he-didnโ€™t pair of always-on performances.

Will They Ever Make a Third Crank Film?Just about everyone involved in making the Crank films (including Staham) has expressed interest at some point in shocking the franchise back to life with a third movie, but for the most part, chatter about a potential Crank 3 has quieted down in recent years. โ€œWeโ€™ve been talking for years about Crank 3,โ€ Statham hopefully told Entertainment Weekly back in 2015, explaining his admiration for writing-directing duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.

โ€œThe first Crank, for me, was such a great experience,โ€ Statham said. โ€œItโ€™s a wacky few weeks that you have with such talented directors. Thereโ€™s no rules when youโ€™re doing the Crank movies. We just keep going: โ€˜How are we going to get this off the ground?โ€™ They have a loose idea [for Crank 3]. They havenโ€™t written the script.โ€

Rather more recently, Taylor shed some light on how a changing entertainment culture makes a third Crank movie not exactly impossible, but definitely a more delicate proposition than in the past. โ€œI donโ€™t think you could make Crank in todayโ€™s climate,โ€ he confided to Comicbook.com in 2018, citing the first two filmsโ€™ โ€œdisrespectful, politically incorrect qualityโ€ as a tough Hollywood sell, with more than a decade separating his 2018 remarks from the original Crank.

โ€œThe one thing that I wonโ€™t do is sort of like a cheap, boring, tame version of the Crank movie,โ€ he added. โ€œThereโ€™s been opportunities to do that, and thereโ€™s definitely been opportunities to just, for purely financial reasons, make a version that I think Crank fans would find lame. Iโ€™m just not going to do it. Thereโ€™s a lot of ideas for it. Thereโ€™s a lot of great ideas for a Crank movie, but itโ€™s got to be cool. Everybodyโ€™s headโ€™s got to be in the right place. It has to be made for the right reasons. Itโ€™s got to be creatively driven.โ€

Since then, the juice has all but slowed to a trickle on fresh news that might spark fansโ€™ Crank sequel wattage back to life. But in spite of Hollywoodโ€™s recently-heightened reluctance to embrace entertainment with no surge protection in place for shock value, Taylor still has managed to fry a few OMG moments right past the olโ€™ socket: He directed Christopher Meloni through two seasons of SYFYโ€™s wacked-out adult comedy Happy! (2017-2019), while writing or co-writing the majority of the seriesโ€™ seriously raunchy episodes.

Where to Stream the First 2 Crank MoviesItโ€™s tough to top a sequel that featured a guy with a draining battery for a heart, but if Crank: High Voltage ends up being the last Crank, we get it at least leaves the franchise humming at its highest possible frequency. Catch both Crank and Crank: High Voltage streaming now at Peacock, and save the date for May 19, when Statham is set to reprise his Fast Saga role as Deckard Shaw in Fast X (get tickets now!).