The gangster film Sexy Beast is the latest surprising piece of IP being mined for the purpose of developing a potential television series by Paramount TV and Anonymous Content. The 2000 film from acclaimed director Jonathan Glazer (Birth, Under the Skin) starred Ben Kingsley as the brutal, foul-mouthed criminal Don Logan, and Ray Winstone as retired safecracker Gary 'Gal' Dove, along with Ian McShane as London-based gangster Teddy Bass. It was an entertaining one-last-job story made into something memorable by its impressive lead performances, as well as Glazer’s virtuosic direction.
Most of the film concerned Don’s efforts to coerce and intimidate Gal into returning for the final score, resulting in a lengthy, tense, and ultimately violent confrontation between the two (as well as Gal’s wife Deedee, played by Amanda Redman) in the retired safecracker’s palatial home in Spain. Though McShane’s Teddy missed out on all the fun in the sun between Don and Gal, it appears that the proposed prequel series will find the character playing a major part alongside the other two.
As reported by Deadline, the series would focus on a young Don, Gal, and Teddy in the London underworld, essentially filling in the gaps of their history with one another long before Gal’s move to Spain. Michael Caleo, a writer for The Sopranos and FX’s Denis Leary drama Rescue Me, who also penned the screenplay for the Luc Besson mafia comedy The Family, is set to write the adaptation.
There’s no word on whether or not Sexy Beast screenwriters Louis Mellis or David Scinto will take part, or if Glazer will be involved, though that would certainly help spark interest from potential networks or streaming services. Should the project continue to move forward, it will be interesting to see how the series goes about filling its three primary roles, especially that of Don Logan, a role that earned Kingsley an Academy Award nomination for his savage performance.
At present, the series is merely in development, with producers planning to find a home for it on either cable or streaming, which makes sense as an edited-for-television Don Logan would be about as much fun as watching The Departed on basic cable. It also makes sense with so many of Anonymous Content and Paramount Television’s other productions having already found homes on the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Apple. If that trend continues, and the Sexy Beast prequel series moves into production, it’s a good bet it’ll land at one of those services.