Donald Westlake Movie Begins Shooting

The movie Parker, based on Flashfire, (recently reissued by the U. of Chicago Press) one of the later titles in the Parker series by Donald Westlake (writing under the name Richard Stark) has begun shooting in New Orleans and is scheduled for release on Oct. 12, 2012, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Directed by Taylor Hackford, it stars Jason Statham as the hardboiled thief Parker, Jennifer Lopez as a real estate agent who becomes his accomplice, and Nick Nolte as his mentor.

The series began in in 1961 with The Hunter (which was made into two movies, Point Blank, starring Lee Marvin in 1987 and The Payback in 1999, starring Mel Gibson) and continued through the ’70’s. Westlake brought the character back nearly 25 years later in the appropriately named Comeback in 1997. Flashfire, published in 2000, is part of the new series.

The prolific Westlake died in 2008. For an assessment of Parker’s appeal, read Sarah Weinman’s “The Violent and Work-Filled World of Parker.”

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