Jason Statham has revealed he cannot wait to start filming the Layer Cake sequel, Viva La Madness.

The action star will play the unnamed criminal protagonist, portrayed by Daniel Craig, in the big-screen adaptation of JJ Connolly’s 2011 book of the same name, which is due to start shooting in 2016.

Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig (Joel Ryan/AP)

Jason said: “I’m doing something I’m really passionate about called Viva La Madness with JJ Connolly and it’s so sophisticated. It’s a brilliant crime thriller that we’re getting off the ground.

“I’ve never been more excited about anything for years and I’m getting very excited about coming back next year and shooting it.”

The 47-year-old plans to take some time off before that.

“I’m going to have a little break. I’ve been working a lot and done a lot of films. I want to try to drop down a gear or three, and see what comes next,” he said.

Jason Statham, Miranda Hart, Melissa McCarthy and Jude Law at the Spy premiere
Jason Statham with his Spy co-stars Miranda Hart, Melissa McCarthy and Jude Law (Ian West/PA)

Jason, who stars in Paul Feig’s comedy Spy, said he immediately agreed to play bumbling CIA agent Rick Ford in the movie, which also stars Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law and Miranda Hart.

“It’s quite a privilege to get a phone call from Paul Feig. He is the best comedy director out there as far as I’m concerned,” he explained.

Jason Statham stars in Spy
Jason Statham plays Rick Ford in Spy (20th Century Fox)

The action man continued: “Paul never wanted me to look like an idiot – he didn’t want me to be slipping on a banana skin and falling on my face all the time.

“He wanted Rick Ford to have a credible side, but his problem was, he just had a bad technique of turning up in the wrong place and he just wasn’t very smart at making decisions, but he was obviously very good at what he did.

“There’s nothing worse than being an incompetent idiot. It might be funny but it becomes slapstick and I don’t want to do slapstick comedy.”

Spy is in cinemas now.