The Professionals gets Hollywood makeover
|NEWS - MOVIE NEWS|
As opposed to what, the Amateurs?
"Anarchy, acts of terror, crimes against the public. To combat it I've got special men - experts from the Army, the police - from every service. These are ... the Professionals."
The Professionals, a cult hit on British TV in the 1970's, is poised to get a big-budget Hollywood makeover, according to Deadline. The series, a crime-action classic that aired from 1977 - 1983, chronicled the adventures of Agents Bodie and Doyle of CI5, and their hard-nosed boss, George Cowley. The fictional CI5 (Criminal Investigation 5 or Civilian Intelligence 5; an awesome amalgamation of CIA and MI5) was a governmental special agency designed to deal with crimes beyond the capacity of the regular police. Agent Bodie was the mercenary / special services recruit; Doyle the London constable.
Deadline reports that Richard Whelan, associate producer of Captain America, is currently seeking a director for the project. Lionsgate UK is said to be looking at Jason Statham (the Transporter films), Gerard Butler (300) and / or Tom Hardy (Inception, Bronson, The Dark Knight Rises) to play Agents Bodie and Doyle. Statham is currently in a Lionsgate UK production set for a May release, Blitz. The tough-as-nails boss and founder of CI5 could be played by Liam Neeson (Unknown, Taken, The A-Team) or Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises).
The original show, while hitting all the 70's crime-drama marks (partner agents, cool cars, big hair) was no stranger to controversy. It was criticized for being too violent, and one episode (called Klansmen) was deemed too controversial to air. The show was also critiqued for its lack of political correctness, although it was a product of the times. There is no word on whether the new film version would be set in the present day or in the 70's; but it is to be an origin story, showing how the two partners join the agency and come together to fight crime.
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