Vin Diesel Wants Ang Lee to Direct Him In the ‘Kojak’ Movie Adaptation

Published 1 year ago by

Kojak Vin Diesel Vin Diesel Wants Ang Lee to Direct Him In the Kojak Movie Adaptation

The year 2013 has seen action star Vin Diesel attempt to revive one dormant franchise with September’s release of Riddick as another franchise enjoyed a big success with Fast & Furious 6 and its worldwide box office haul of over $788 million. Diesel’s return to the Fast & Furious world has him riding high; he’ll be joining the Marvel Universe as the voice of Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy and possibly one other role.

Diesel is also attempting to launch a film franchise based on Kojakthe classic television series starring Telly Savalas as the tough, lollipop-loving New York detective Theo Kojak, which ran on CBS from 1973 – 1978. Development of a new big-screen treatment was reported nearly a year ago, from a script written by longtime James Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade for Universal Studios.

Not much else has been heard about Kojak since, with Diesel keeping busy as he reprises his role as Dom Toretto in Fast & Furious 7. Now, however, Diesel has referenced the long-in-development detective movie (and potential franchise) on his Facebook page. Responding to a fan question, Diesel revealed which director he’d like to work with soon:

Kojak… New York…

Ang Lee… 

P.s. Inspired by your creativity…

Ang Lee 3D Life of Pi Vin Diesel Wants Ang Lee to Direct Him In the Kojak Movie Adaptation

We presume the post-script is directed toward the Oscar-winning Life of Pi director. This leads to the question of whether or not Diesel’s reference means that Kojak is significantly far along in development. No director was ever reported as attached to the project.

Realistically, this is just Vin Diesel throwing out a director he’d love to work with, pure and simple. Still, it’s an interesting idea. Lee has proven remarkably adept at jumping from genre to genre – not many directors have a list of credits quite as diverse, from Hulk to Brokeback Mountain to Life of Pi. Lee’s take on a hard-nosed, streetwise NYPD detective might promise a fresh entry into a well-worn movie trope.

While Riddick turned a nice profit thanks to the worldwide box office take, it did little better than break even domestically, and while his Marvel projects and Fast and Furious movies – which are really a superhero franchise in disguise – will take him into realms of the fantastic blockbuster, referencing Kojak may be a hint that he wants a more grounded ongoing solo role that he can really put his stamp on.

Is Ang Lee a good fit for a Kojak movie, Screen Ranters? Would Diesel do the role justice? Sound off in the comments!


Kojak is currently in development at Universal.

Source: Vin Diesel

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
TAGS: Kojak
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  1. I loved Kojak. Still miss the character. But I am not excited by Vin as Kojak. Telly Savalas had a more definitive cool swagger than Diesel.
    I would much rather see Lee use his unique and exceptional directing talents with Angelina Jolie’s Cleopatra.

    • I personally can’t see anybody but Vin as Kojak, although his Kojak will likely be different than Telly’s Kojak, and the original is, more often than not, always the best.

  2. I personally think Diesel is perfect for this. As long a it’s not too much of an homage, i think it could be great.

  3. Well they do both have bald heads!

  4. So Kojak will mumble WITHOUT a lollipop in his mouth then? I hope if this happens, they’ll put subtitles on screen whenever Vin talks.

    • Well I’m basing my support on Vin’s portrayal of real life mobster Jack DiNorscio in “Find Me Guilty”.

  5. Well, cannot be any worse than that godawful attempted ‘Ironside’ reboot on NBC…

  6. Lee, no. John woo, yes.

  7. diesel must be high if he thinks Ang Lee is going to come direct him in a Kojak movie.

  8. This idea has flop written all over it.

  9. I see Vin as Kojak

  10. Vin as Kojak would be awesome!

  11. Vint Rhames did a solid job in the short lived and under appreciated remake series. It was a god fit. Concerned that a Vin Diesel version would miss the point if the original. Will we get a Kojak with tanks driving out through the nose of a cargo jet? Hope not.

  12. I remember Vin in Saving Private Ryan & Boiler Room but does he carry enough charisma to beat out Telly Savalas in a motion picture? I’m just not sure. I am still damaged by The Pacifier.

  13. Never really thought about this–did not know a Kojak reboot was in progress. The original series was OK, don’t know if Diesel is the man for the job or not, but can’t think of anyone better off the top of my head, since no one could do the part better than Telly Savalas, so I suppose give him a try…the jury’s out on this. But will I watch it?
    Who Loves Ya, Baby?
    Book ‘Em, Crocker!
    You bet I will check it out!

  14. Vin as Kojak? Knock yourselves out. But nobody is gonna take anything away from Telly Savalas. Vin or not.

  15. I can definitely see Vin Diesel putting his own spin on Kojak. Why not also include Michael Kostroff as Capt. Frank McNeil, Seth Gabel as Det. Bobby Crocker and maybe Artie Lange as Sgt. Stavros. To pay further homage to the great Telly Savalas, why not also cast as a detective, Ariana Savalas, Telly’s youngest daughter, who’s also an actress. Vin Diesel will likely play Kojak his own way and not attempt to be Telly Savalas. Break out the lollipops, because they’re also Kojak’s specialty. Big props to Universal for bringing in the script writers from MGM’s Skyfall movie and for taking their time in finding the right man to succeed Telly Savalas as Kojak in Vin Diesel. Still, I wonder how Vin Diesel would look in a top hat on the streets of New York? Either way, he’ll do real good as Kojak!!!