|Two of the German stars of shot-in-Toronto Transporter|
Way back last September, I visited the set of Transporter, a new international TV series shot in Toronto. It’s based on the hit feature films starring Jason Statham as a driver for hire. The Canadian-French co-production was supposed to be a bonanza for the local TV industry, with the first 12 episodes budgeted in the $40 million range.
I watched a scene being shot in an abandoned warehouse in Toronto’s west end. I was introduced to executive producer Steve Shill, and was entertained by stories of his experiences working with David Milch on Deadwood. Shill’s other credits include pricey HBO mis-fire Rome and Dexter.
Parked next to the factory/stealth studio was a giant trailer/garage unit where two of the four Audi 8s gleaming in the parking lot could be serviced at any one time. Drivers had been flown in from France for the tricky stunt work required to drive these beauties along closed off stretches of the Gardiner Expressway, among other venues.
Well, Transporter has been going nowhere for months.
Shortly after I visited the set, the brakes were put on the production after lead actor Chris Vance (Prison Break) suffered an on-set injury. Given that Toronto has seen little snowfall this winter, the mishap was especially ill-timed. Production was supposed to drive on through November.
There were other reports of on set turmoil. Now, a story in the Hollywood Reporter says the “cursed” series is looking for a new showrunner. Shill had already been brought in with another producer to replace the original Canadian executive producers, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie (Stargate Universe).
Transporter is supposed to eventually air on HBO Canada and on Cinemax in the States. Stay tuned.