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LONDON – Ben Drew, better known as rap act Plan B, has been cast opposite Ray Winstone in writer-director Nick Love’s long-gestating big-screen adaptation of hard-hitting cult 1970s cop show The Sweeney.
Drew will play George Carter, a role Dennis Waterman played in the original ITV series about London’s Flying Squad, in Vertigo Films’ contemporary update.
Drew was previously seen alongside Michael Caine in the 2009 film Harry Brown.
Winstone has long been attached to star as the no-nonsense policeman Jack Regan, a role originally played by the late John Thaw.
The project is due to start shooting in the fall.
The U.K.’s Vertigo Films retained the remake rights after the production label’s longtime development partners, DNA Films partners Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich, opted not to renew.
Created by Ian Kennedy Martin, The Sweeney ran from 1975 to 1978 and spawned two feature-length films. The original series 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.
The casting follows hot-on-the-heels of plans to turn another cult 1970s crime show, The Professionals, into a big screen adventure.
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