The Professionals finally getting adapted?
It was almost an entire year ago that we first heard of a potential big screen adaptation of the successful television series of The Professionals, the show starring Bodie and Doyle as the CI5 agents run under the command of George Cowley.
Back then the word was that Neil Marshall was looking at directing the film, and that came from his own lips too, he was set to create the screen outings of the characters which would be far from the previous television to film adaptation for crime fighters we'd seen from Starsky and Hutch, oh yes.
"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...
...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"
It sounded back then that Marshall was pretty geared up for the adaptation and was going to make it pretty hard and gritty, something that I think all those involved in the original would appreciate, as well as the fans. The last thing we want is a silly comedy version.
Here's a blast from the past with those excellent titles once again.
Oh I loved The Professionals when I was younger. Look at those titles though, the brooding Lewis Collins as Bodie, the hair of Martin Shaw as Doyle, the grumpy Scotsman in charge Gordon Jackson as George Cowley, the Ford Capri that I ended up revering, and for fifty-seven episodes from 1977 to 1983, these guys appeared on our British televisions as the undercover law enforcement agency CI5 which fought everything from organised crime to terrorism.
So where are we today? Well the press release I received says that Lionsgate have acquired the rights to the television series and are expecting to start filming later this year, and they're also talking up the adaptation.
The release says that it will be...
...an exhilarating, emotionally-charged action-thriller that re-forges the seminal TV series for a new generation.
The Professionals will see ex-Spec Ops Mercenary Bodie and Counter Terrorism Detective Doyle burst back onto screens in this blistering origin story that sees the iconic characters unite in their first mission for covert British Security Unit CI5 (Criminal Intelligence 5).
The key comment comes from the Chief Executive of Lionsgate UK who says the following about the film:
"This production will combine the wit and fast paced action of the original TV series but also completely reinvent it for a new, modern audience..."
There was a lot of "in action" humour from the main characters, even in the thick of it they dropped a dig or a comment at each other, but this wasn't your stand out Hollywood comedy comment in the middle of the action, it was harder and more realistic than that, as hard and realistic as a television series was allowed to be back then. Something that also worked well was the buddy aspect of the two, as well as the grating feeling of two people being too close for too long, it's one of the reasons I loved the television show so much.
The question will be who is directing the film? Will it be Neil Marshall? He's not been saying anything, although he has revealed elsewhere that he's chasing a number of other projects.
For The Professionals I don't know of Marshall is quite right for the film these days, who would be best suited to direct?