Ray Winstone attached to 'Sweeney' feature


LONDON -- Writer-director Nick Love is gearing up for his long-gestating big-screen adaptation of hard-hitting cult 1970s cop show "The Sweeney," with Ray Winstone attached to star as no-nonsense policeman Jack Regan.

The U.K.'s Vertigo Films has retained the remake rights after the production label's longtime development partners, DNA Films partners Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich, opted not to renew.

Love is penning a fresh draft of the movie. Vertigo producer James Richardson told THR that the filmmaker plans to concentrate on making a gritty, slick British cops and robbers movie.

The original series, which aired on ITV for three years in the 1970s, is credited with revolutionizing the TV cop show genre, portraying the detectives as tough roustabouts who liked a drink and some fisticuffs as much as the criminals they were chasing.

Love has built a following for his approach to gangster pics and sharp dialogue in such films as "The Business," "The Firm" and "The Football Factory."

Vertigo is hot at the moment, having produced and distributed the dance flick "StreetDance 3D," which has garnered just shy of £12 million ($19 million) at the U.K. boxoffice.

Richardson and fellow producer Allan Niblo have assembled the same dance card for the sequel. Writer Jane English is writing the follow-up with the original's co-directing team of Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini aboard.

Fans will also be heartened by the fact that "Britain's Got Talent 2009" finalists Flawless and Diversity and previous BGT winner George Sampson also will strut their stuff for the sequel.
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