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The Sweeney gains second lead

TheSweeney.jpgI'm surprised but the news is that The Sweeney is going ahead and Ray Winstone is still on board to play Jack Regan. More exciting than that is who will be playing the role of George Carter next to him in the adaptation of the British television series that starred John Thaw and Dennis Waterman.

The series was a gritty and violent for the time series that turned around the way policemen and police series were shown on television. It might be a little much to say it was a revolution, but it certainly was a landmark series and didn't hold back, portraying a harder and more realistic view of Metropolitan Police unit The Flying Squad.

The Sweeney was a great series, and John Thaw was superb in it. The series provided a gritty realism that had John Thaw playing a character who used violent, underhand and sometimes illegal methods to get hold of the culprit and surprisingly they often failed to get justice.

The Flying Squad were originally based in London in the seventies to crack down on the rise in organised crime and particularly armed raids. This feature film will see the idea, the team and the two main characters transported to current times.

I'm curious what that will mean for the story, for back then it was a new team and direction for the Police and the strong arm tactics were welcomed to try and keep up with the armed and dangerous organised crime gangs around them. What will be the idea behind the modern Flying Squad?

There's no sense of that in the announcement I received about The Sweeney, but we do see that Ray Winstone is still on board for the Nick Love directed film from the John Hodge written script. Love directed The Football Factory, The Firm, The Business and Outlaw (Filmstalker review), while Hodge has written Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, A Life Less Ordinary, The Beach and the awful The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (Filmstalker review).

There's a fair mix there. Okay, the big news that we've been waiting for, not just that The Sweeney is actually happening, but about who is set to star alongside Ray Winstone in the lead roles. Well it's none other than the lead singer of Plan B and actor in Adulthood, Harry Brown and, Ben Drew.

Unusual choice I have to say, I had been expecting someone much bigger and more experienced in film, but then Nick Love is pleased with the choice:

"I'm very excited about Ben playing Carter - he brings an intelligence and sensitivity that is crucial for THE SWEENEY. Ben is also one of the most promising and multi-talented young performers around. For me, Ray (Winstone) and Ben are the ultimate casting for a character driven action thriller set in London today."

I have to admit I'm more excited about Ray Winstone in the role than anything else, we just have to hope the whole idea translates well and that The Sweeney in modern day policing works.



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