The Sweeney lead contenders?
I'm always dubious of casting rumours, especially when most of them turn out to be complete rubbish, however some sound genuinely interesting, and when they suggest different possibilities for the story.
Take the film version of the seventies British police series The Sweeney that already has the excellent Ray Winstone cast, it was surprise enough that Winstone, who was perfect for the lead formerly played by John Thaw, was cast in the supporting role, and now to see the line-up of names for the lead I have to wonder where this version of the story is going.
The Sweeney production was halted in August of 2008 and after that we heard little from it, although recently we heard that another British television police pairing The Professionals was to be made into a film as well, since that report we've heard little about the film, so on one side this is good news because it suggests the film version is moving forward again.
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. The series was pretty ground breaking because, for the time, it was very violent and presented a very different view of the police that we'd seen to date.
Both officers were damned hard and didn't care for the rules too much, although it's fair to say that Regan was the tougher, he was also the older and more jaded of the two with his support, Carter, being the one who tried to keep him in check a little more.
So looking at the character of Regan I was shocked to find out that in the film version of The Sweeney he wasn't to be played by Ray Winstone, after all he's the usual hard character and the more mature gent that could perfectly take on the role that John Thaw played superbly well.
Couple this casting with the latest set of rumours and it would suggest that they've done a complete role reversal, that the supporting character is the mature hardened policeman and the lead character the younger one. It didn't seem to fit that well.
Back then the "sources" were allegedly whispering that both Jason Statham and Michael Fassbender were up for the role, so probably better that production halted. Now Winstone and Statham would have felt like a good line-up, if Winstone were the lead.
So what of the latest rumours? Well OneIndia through Collider takes one of these imaginary, made up sources to avoid any possible comeback, I mean takes the word of a person inside the British production that actually really does have access to all the casting calls and decided to risk their job by leaking the information to an Indian website, and reveals that the lead could be one of the following actors who are all in consideration:
Okay. Sweeney were tough. They were no holds barred and no frills. They weren't slick, polished, just run right in shouting and with fist clenched and guns drawn. Want an answer? Beat someone, even if they're a woman. That was the kind of characters we were looking at.
So Bloom is useless for the role, and not far behind are McGregor and Craig. No offence intended to any of them because I think Craig and McGregor are great actors, but for the Sweeney lead? No way. Although saying that, Craig might work as the support next to Winstone as the lead.
For me the only choice from that list would be Tom Hardy. Rough, tough, and uncompromising.
Actually though, I think this is unsubstantiated rumour time. Sweeney has been on hold for some time and there's been nothing much said about the production moving forward. Even if it is, I think they've made a huge mistake up front, Winstone should be the lead.
Also, this can't really be going back to the seventies could it? Would it really work with today's audiences? Even if they make it a nice PG-13 and add big names? Maybe they should do it in 3D?