Papa Vinyard here, now here's a little somethin' for ya...
I mean, who out there ever expected a sequel to Matthew Vaughn's LAYER CAKE? Not to spoil the ending of that badass 2004 film, but it did seem that that story had been nicely wrapped up in a way that was both definitive and thoroughly satisfactory. At least for us.
But according to Deadline, Jason Statham has other plans. He and producing partner Steve Chasman have bought the rights to Connolly's sequel novel, VIVA LA MADNESS, which has the unnamed protagonist (credited as XXXX in LAYER CAKE) going up against Venezuelan cartels on his way to retirement.
Mike Fleming, Jr. speculates in that Deadline article that the character is being treated like Donald E. Westlake's Parker, which has had many different actors (Statham included) play the role in various incarnations of the character. However, it should be noted that the LAYER CAKE novel's ending is more fleshed out than the film's, and it does allow room for a direct sequel, if they choose to go that route. But I figure if they're going with a different lead, it may be in their best interest to just treat this as a sort of "reboot" altogether.
No word as to who will direct, or whether Vaughn will be involved in some capacity. My guess is that, due to Vaughn and Statham's professional relationship (which goes back to LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS) that Vaughn's Marv Films will help produce the film, but who knows? Maybe he's pissed that someone is fucking with that great ending he came up with.
Craig really broke out (with U.S. audiences, at least) with LAYER CAKE, and I'm actually kind of curious to see Statham play Johnny Cool Drug Dealer as he navigates some even stranger waters than before. Hopefully, they can back him up with the kind of cast that lives up to the roster of British actors that helped make LAYER CAKE such a fun, complex world to get a glimpse into. I mean, would anybody really object if the only remaining element from the first movie was Colm Meany as the same character?