The Professionals to come to the big screen?
We've been waiting for The Sweeney to arrive, but the next classic British law enforcement television series is up with the word that The Professionals is going to be adapted for film by none other than Neil Marshall of Centurion, The Descent (Filmstalker review) and Dog Soldiers. I know, I'm missing Doomsday (Filmstalker review) out deliberately.
More than the average rumour of such things, Marshall was on hand to talk about the film and revealed the truth.
”I always loved the show. It has one of the greatest theme tunes ever and a really great central premise. I just thought: this is going to make a great movie...It’s going to be a hard-hitting action movie.”
That's what Neil Marshall said to Empire today when he was talking about the idea, and if you want to hear that theme, and see the opening titles with the guys at work, then this is what you need to watch:
I love that music and those credits, without a doubt it's one of the best ever, and The Professionals had a huge grasp on my viewing when I was younger. Look at those titles though, the brooding Lewis Collins as Bodie, the hair of Martin Shaw as Doyle, the excellent Gordon Jackson as George Cowley, and those computers he's around, was I born when they were being used? That's rhetorical, I know I was, and I can't believe it.
Oh and the car. How could I forget that Ford Capri? Now which one owned that again, was it Doyle? I can't remember, but I loved that car when I was younger.
The Professionals ran for fifty-seven episodes, from 1977 to 1983. The show was actually about a small team in the British law enforcement agency CI5, who dealt with everything from organised crime to terrorism, both on British soil and abroad, and they were professional hard men, doing what needed to be done without much question, all within the television rules of the time of course.
Now on a film version that could be very different, and I would hope for a hard rating on this. That's something we don't yet know though. We do know that a writer is on the case now, and that it could well be hard going by Marshall's description:
”The slogan, or kind of the tagline for the film, is ‘Fight fire with fire’ and that was their whole thing... Primarily it’s going to be an exciting movie, but there’s an inherent political angle on the story.”
Well it's CI5, of course there's going to be politics involved, but the whole idea of the film version is intriguing, there's definitely scope there, especially when he reveals that it's going to focus on being a British buddy film and lists Butch and Sundance and Riggs and Murtaugh, now that's good grounding for a film. Just don't try and homage your favourite shows in it, please.