After more than three years in development, Deadline reports that Universal Pictures is finally moving forward with its adaptation of the beloved 1970s TV series, Kojak, with the studio hiring Philip Gawthorne to write the screenplay. The project will be a modern-day take on the Kojak TV series, which ran for five seasons between 1973 and 1978. No further plot details have been released at this time. Vin Diesel has been attached to star in the project since December 2012.
The original show followed Telly Savalas as Lieutenant Theo Kojak, a hard-nosed New York City detective who had an affinity for Tootsie Pops. His classic line "Who loves ya, baby?" became a popular catch phrase throughout the 1970s. The show was briefly revived in 2005, with Ving Rhames taking over as the title character, but it only lasted for one season. It isn't known how closely Vin Diesel will stick to the original character.
Kojak doesn't have a director attached at this time, but Philip Gawthorne will rewrite the original script written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who are best known for their work on James Bond movies such as Skyfall and the upcoming Spectre. Philip Gawthorne is also writing a remake of Cube entitled Cubed. He began his career as a British playwright before moving on to write for hit U.K. TV shows such as EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City.