Lionsgate U.K. to Remake 'The Professionals' As Feature Film

The TV series of 'The Professionals' became a cult hit in the U.K. in the late 1970s.

LONDON -- Lionsgate U.K. has corralled rights to produce a big screen version of British crime action series The Professionals.

Lionsgate U.K. is partnering with Callum McDougall and Richard Whelanto produce the feature film via their production company Eighth Wonder.

The project is expected to start shooting on location in the U.K. later this year.

The backers are planning to reinvent the cult TV hit, which still airs on British television here on ITV, as an action-thriller.

Originally created by Brian Clemens, the TV series of The Professionals became a cult hit in the U.K. in the late 1970s and its central characters Bodie and Doyle household names after the first series first aired in 1977 on London Weekend Television.

The big screen version will see former special ops mercenary Bodie and counter terrorism detective Doyle unite in their first mission for covert British security unit CI5 in what is billed as an origin story for the characters.

McDougall's resume most recently boasts exec producer duties on Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace, while Whelan recently completed producing duties on Captain America for Marvel.
"The Professionals was such an iconic British crime series that it's a fantastic opportunity for Lionsgate to be able to bring it to the big screen for the first time," said Lionsgate U.K. chief executive Zygi Kamasa.

No budget has been confirmed and casting and director discussions are currently underway.