Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marshall Targets "The Professionals"

UK director Neil Marshall ("Centurion") is developing a big screen adaptation of the 1977 British TV series "The Professionals".

"They deal with anti-terrorism, assassinations, political intrigue," said Marshall.

The original crime-action drama series produced by Avengers Mk1 Productions and London Weekend Television aired on the ITV network from 1977 to 1983. 57 episodes were produced, starring actors Martin Shaw, Lewis Collins and Gordon Jackson as agents of 'CI5', a law enforcement department, instructed by the Home Secretary to use any means, dealing with crimes of a serious nature that go beyond the capacity of the police.

Created by Brian Clemens of "The Avengers" TV series, Clemens and Albert Fennell were executive producers, with Laurie Johnson providing theme music. Sidney Hayers produced the first series in 1977, and Raymond Menmuir the remainder.

Led by 'George Cowley', CI5 is known for using unconventional and sometimes illegal methods to bust criminals, assigning agents 'Ray Doyle' an ex-detective constable who has worked the seedier parts of London and 'William Bodie', an ex-paratrooper, mercenary and SAS sergeant.

"The slogan, or kind of the tagline for the film, is 'Fight fire with fire' and that was their whole thing," said Marshall.

"Primarily, its going to be an exciting movie, but there's an inherent political angle on the story. We want to contemporise it but keep everything that made the original great, just turn it into a real wham-bam rip-roaring adventure movie."

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "The Professionals"...