The Professionals may never have made an impression on American audiences – Well, have you seen it? – but it was a big hit in the UK when it ran from 1977 to 1983. That’s enough for Lionsgate UK to greenlight a movie adaptation, according to Deadline. It will mark the third production from the European arm of Lionsgate after Salmon Fishing in Yemen, an upcoming comedy from director Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules) starring Ewan MacGregor and Emily Blunt, and the serial killer movie Blitz with Jason Statham, opening this summer.
The Professionals television series was created by Brian Clemens, creator of that other hit UK series The Avengers. Let’s hope this adaptation fares better than the Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman movie which sprang forth from that. The series starred Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins as agents of CI-5, a law-enforcement division specializing in crimes too big for the police department but beneath the gaze of the secret service or military. Their division often used unlawful tactics in the line of duty, making them badass rebels of justice. Or something. Lionsgate UK is reportedly going to offer the lead roles to Tom Hardy, Gerard Butler and Jason Statham, while Liam Neeson and Gary Oldman will be sought to play their superior officer. Naturally these are all very busy men, so it will be interesting to see who the roles actually end up with.
Crave Online will be back with more news on The Professionals as it professes itself to us. (Does that work? Aw, screw it. It’s fine.)