Universal Picks Up Vin Diesel's 'Kojak' Reboot; Adds New Screenwriter

Vin Diesel as Kojak

In recent years, Vin Diesel has stuck to the larger tentpoles to find success in the movie industry. Some of his biggest franchises, like Fast & Furious and Guardians of the Galaxy, are still going strong, meaning he'll have no trouble finding work for the near future. Even his new film, The Last Witch Hunter, is already getting a sequel.

But as busy as Diesel's schedule is getting, that hasn't stopped him from adding a new project to his crowded slate - an adaptation of the 1970s TV show Kojak.

According to Variety, Universal has given the Kojak feature film the go-ahead. In it, Diesel is set to take on the role of Lieutenant Theo Kojak, made famous by Telly Savalas in the original series. Playwright Philip Gawthorne is now writing the adaptation.

Running for five seasons on CBS, Kojak featured Savalas as a New York City Police Department detective named Kojak. Previously, Diesel expressed his interest in having Life of Pi director Ang Lee helm the movie (the pair recently worked together on Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk), which is actually the last we heard about the project. Diesel’s Universal-based One Race Films is producing, with Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the writing team behind Skyfall, having written a previous draft of the script in 2012.

Vin Diesel and Rose Leslie in The Last Witch Hunter
Vin Diesel and Rose Leslie in 'The Last Witch Hunter'

Kojak seems like the perfect type of film for Diesel to take on at this point in his career. It's considerably smaller than some of his other recent projects, but it also could be an intense cop drama featuring a central character who is both incorruptible and willing to do whatever it takes to seek out justice. (Plus, he's bald, just like Kojak.)

Of course, some of the more dated elements of the series might have to be changed or updated to fit with the modern times, but that shouldn't be a problem for Philip Gawthorne, who's previously written for TV shows like the British Eastenders. As for who might direct the film, we'll have to wait and see who comes on board. It doesn't seem like the type of film Ang Lee would typically take on. Then again, a lot of people might've said that about Hulk back in the early 2000s.

What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Are you looking forward to seeing Vin Diesel play Lieutenant Theo Kojak? Let us know in the comments.


Stay tuned for more news on Vin Diesel's Kojak movie.

Source: Variety

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