Classic 70s action show The Professionals is going to have a facelift. Lionsgate are keen to get the series back on the road but have dropped Neil Marshall as director (it was a project he was considering as a follow-up to Centurion). But the big name they’re waving about now is Jason Statham who’s wanted for a lead role.
Lionsgate apparently want it to be in pre-production by the end of the year according to Deadline, with producer Richard Whelan currently having talks in LA to find a new director for the project (as well as the usual list of British actors). Included are perennial baldy hard-nut Statham, Tom Hardy and Gerard Butler for special-ops mercenary Bodie and counter-terrorism specialist Doyle, with the likes of Liam Neeson and Gary Oldman wanted as their Scottish boss George Cowley (originally played by Gordon Jackson who would go on to play Mr Hudson in Upstairs Downstairs). That’ll be another chance for Liam Neeson to perform with an unidentifiable accent then.
We’re not too keen on remakes or TV series turning to the big screen but actually this one could work – hard blokes vs. “anarchy, acts of terror and crimes against the public” sounds pretty relevant to us.
“We really felt there was an opportunity for a bigger British action film,” says Lionsgate UK chief Zygi Kamasa. “The ambition is to make a powerful commercial movie with the best of British talent.”
In the mean time, enjoy the iconic intro sequence courtesy of YouTube: