Lionsgate UK to Turn 1970s TV Series THE PROFESSIONALS into Feature Film

     March 28, 2011

the-professionals-tv-series-image-slice-01

Lionsgate UK and Eighth Wonder Pictures are planning a feature film adaptation of the 1970s British TV crime series The Professionals.  Having never seen the series, I checked the Wikipedia and learned that the main characters work for CI5 (Criminal Intelligence 5), “a law enforcement department, instructed by the Home Secretary to use any means, which deals with crimes of a serious nature that go beyond the capacity of the police, but are not tasks for the security service or military.”  Per the press release, “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).”  This sounds like a job for Jason Statham.

Hit the jump for the press release.

the-professionals-tv-series-image-01Here’s the press release:

Lionsgate UK  and Eighth Wonder Pictures to produce big screen adaptation of cult British TV crime series “The Professionals”.

Iconic characters Bodie and Doyle to hit the big screen

LONDON, U.K., March 28, 2011 – Lionsgate UK has acquired the rights to produce a feature film version of era-defining British crime action series The Professionals.

The project is expected to start shooting on location in the UK later this year.

Lionsgate UK partnered with Callum McDougall and Richard Whelan to produce the feature film via their production company Eighth Wonder.

McDougall and Whelan have been producers on a number of  films, with McDougall executive producing the last two James Bond films “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace” and currently  the “Clash of the Titans” sequel,  and Whelan having recently completed producing duties on “Captain America” for Marvel.

Reinventing the TV series for the big screen, The Professionals 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 Professionals was such an iconic British crime series that  it’s a fantastic opportunity for Lionsgate to be able to bring it to the big screen for the first time,” said Zygi Kamasa, Chief Executive, Lionsgate UK.  “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 and we’re really looking forward to working with talented producers Callum and Richard on the film.”

Said Whelan: “To take this 70’s TV classic and launch it onto the big screen, is a dream come true.”

Added McDougall:   “We are delighted to be partnering with Lionsgate UK  on this exciting project,  and we look forward to working with them closely in the future”.
Originally created by Brian Clemens, the TV series of The Professionals became a cult hit in the UK in the late 1970s and its central characters Bodie and Doyle household names on London Weekend Television when the first series first aired in 1977.

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