Writer-director Nick Love has attached Ray Winstone to star as no-nonsense policeman Jack Regan in his long-gestating big-screen adaptation of hard-hitting cult 1970s cop show The Sweeney.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the U.K.'s Vertigo Films picked up the remake rights after the production label's longtime development partners, DNA Films partners Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich, decided not to renew.

Nick Love is writing a fresh draft of the movie, concentrating on making a gritty, slick British cops and robbers movie.

The original series, which aired on ITV for three years in the 1970s, 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.

No production date has been set.