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 Kojak, the 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…
P.s. Inspired by your creativity...
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