Sweeney halts production
The big screen version of the British police series The Sweeney has had production halted by the studio who, for some sudden reason, seem to be concerned it may not appeal to worldwide audiences.
My first question was why now? Why not when they saw the original series, read the script, hired a director, writer, and so on. Why now just a few weeks before filming was due to start?
The television series of The Sweeney followed Jack Regan, played by John Thaw, and George Carter, played by Dennis Waterman, who were police in London's Flying Squad, a section of the force assigned to violent crimes and burglaries.
In the film version of The Sweeney the Regan role was to be taken by Ray Winstone, but no one had been assigned to the second role of Carter. Empire says that both Jason Statham and Michael Fassbender had been considered for the role, but neither had been signed up.
The Sweeney, and the two original actors, are very well known in Britain, but their appeal isn't so large in the rest of the world, and this is the reason that the article suggests is why the studio have halted the production.
Representatives for DNA Films – is that better than sources? - say that Fox Searchlight weren't so sure of how well the film would do upon release and it looks like they're pulling out.
However it seems that Nick Love may still get his chance to make The Sweeney as it sounds that DNA Films are still keen to continue with the film, however the question will be if the production will still be big enough to have two big name actors in the leads.
Will Ray Winstone hold onto the film for another year, and if he does could a smaller production afford another big name? I think that this sounds perfect for Jason Statham who should be eager to continue his more non-action based roles such as in The Bank Job (Filmstalker review).
For now though, it looks like no Sweeney.