It’s been a while since we talked about Vin Diesel’s plan to revive the 70s TV crime-drama series Kojak in feature form. The last word we had on it was nearly a year ago when Steve got a chance to talk to him before the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere. At that point, Diesel was gearing up to film Breck Eisner’s The Last Witch Hunter, which is now in post-production in anticipation of its October 23rd release. Then, in Diesel’s words:
“Then I will do Kojak for Universal, which is gonna be really exciting.”
So while his schedule might be jostled around a bit in the coming months, Variety reports that the Kojak project has at least landed a writer for the script; Neal Purvis and Robert Wade of Skyfall wrote the previous draft. Playwright Philip Gawthorne is now on board the adaptation, in which Diesel will play the title character Lt. Theo Kojak. The role was made famous by Telly Savalas whose tough but upbeat cop with a penchant for lollipops entertained television audiences for five seasons.
Gawthorne recently made news for signing on to Lionsgate’s Cube remake. Diesel remains as busy as ever. He’s likely attached for a sequel to Universal’s The Last Witch Hunter, whether that follow-up film (Second-to-Last Witch Hunter?) comes to fruition or not. He’s got other franchises on his plate as well, most notably Furious 8, and the less lucrative xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. He’s also teaming up alongside Chris Tucker in Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which is filming now.