I was born on the wrong side of the Atlantic in the wrong decade to know too much about the 1970s British police drama The Sweeney, but it has apparently impressed the likes of Daniel Craig, Orlando Bloom, Ewan McGregor, and Tom Hardy. The impressive quartet are all reportedly under consideration for the lead role of Jack Regan, portrayed by John Thaw in the original series. The actor who lands the role will star opposite Ray Winstone (Edge of Darkness), who signed on to play sidekick George Carter. More after the jump:
You may notice a variety amongst the actors, who pretty much cover the entire spectrum of on-screen manliness (Bloom -> McGregor -> Craig -> Hardy). That’s no accident: a source confided in OneIndia:
“The tone of the movie will change depending on the selection of one actor from the four interested actors to play the tough cop. The Sweeney may turn bigger than the original TV show with the right selection of the cast.”
Seems reasonable. I’m totally up for a cop movie centered around pretty much everyone on that list except for Bloom, though for all I know he’s perfect for the role.
Dark Horizons identifies The Sweeney‘s significance like so:
“With salty dialogue and tough action scenes, it invented the blueprint for gritty UK cop dramas and was a major inspiration for the highly acclaimed original British incarnation of the series Life on Mars.”
Now there’s a reference point I can relate to. With a focused run of just sixteen episodes, Life on Mars was a great little slice of police procedural for this TV watcher who doesn’t keep many in the rotation. If you want a “Sam Tyler” at the center of your movie, I suppose you go with Bloom or McGregor; if you’re in the mood for a “Gene Hunt,” Craig or Hardy are great choices.
I’m not entirely sure I understand the impetus behind Hollywood’s recent fascination with retro procedurals, but by now the odds are in our favor that at least one is incredibly fun. The Fall Guy remake sold when “stuntman/bounty hunter” is part of the character description. And Russell Crowe (a “Gene Hunt” if there ever were one) could benefit from a return to his LA Confidential roots in The Equalizer.
Production for the $16 million Fox Searchlight film was put on hold last month due to concerns of international appeal but, as evidenced with this roster of handsome stars, the studio is hoping to fix that issue post-haste and start filming by the end of the year. Nick Love is set to direct from a script he c0-wrote with Sweeney creator Ian Kennedy Martin.