Talk about your super-caffeinated, candy-coated, adrenaline-fueled head trips! Crank was like Speed on speed, an updating / rip-off of D.O.A. brought into the high octane world of hitmen and drug kingpins. Jason Statham starred as Chev Chelios, an assassin poisoned by a criminal overlord. With just an hour to live and revenge on his mind, he quickly discovers that if he doesn't keep his heart rate pumping in overdrive, he'll die even quicker. Extreme, outlandish and often ridiculous, Crank careened around Los Angeles like a drunken Formula One racer.

Critical reaction was divided upon its release last fall. Cinematical's Martha Fischer anticipated its popular success: "it's likely to do huge business with that tantalizing late-teen/early twenties male demographic, who will eat up the naughty, noisy allure of the whole thing, without ever noticing that it's sloppy and unfocused." A few months ago, Jessica Barnes told us about a report that the writing and directing team of Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine were planning a sequel; Scott Weinberg reported a few weeks ago that Taylor and Neveldine had submitted a script that made everyone dance with joy; as further evidence that the sequel was moving forward, Patrick Walsh let us know that Statham expressed his enthusiasm for the script.

Now comes official word: Variety says that Statham is on board for Crank 2: High Voltage, in which his character "faces a Chinese mobster who has stolen his nearly indestructible heart and replaced it with a battery-powered ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity to keep working." Production will begin after Taylor and Neveldine complete Game, a futuristic thriller starring Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall that starts shooting next week. No release date is given for Crank 2: High Voltage, but I imagine a fall 2008 release wouldn't be out of the question.