French star takes on Ray Winstone role in Paris-set remake, The Squad.

France’s SND and Capture [The Flag] Films are joining forces with the UK’s Vertigo Films on The Squad, an upcoming Paris-set remake of The Sweeney.

The feature, to be directed by Benjamin Rocher, is due to shoot in Paris this October with French star Jean Reno in the lead role of Buren, a tough, old-time Paris police cop who does not play by the rules.

“Director Benjamin Rocher and producers SND and Capture [The Flag] Films have an incredible vision for this action packed movie set on the streets of Paris,” said Vertigo Films co-founder James Richardson.

“We are tremendously excited to be turning The Sweeney into this brilliant French version with the privilege of being able to work with one of our favorite actors, Jean Reno.

The film is a remake of British director Nick Love’s 2012 feature The Sweeney, starring Ray Winstone as tough London detective Jack Regan, which in turn was inspired by the iconic 1970s police series starring John Thaw in the lead role.

“Jean Reno one of the most beloved French actors with a worldwide fan base, will bring all his charisma and depth to portray Buren, a tough police officer determined to do what it takes to catch the bad guys,“ said SND’s head of international sales Charlotte Boucon.

Rocher, who has gained international recognition with genre films The Horde and Goal of the Dead, will direct. Capture [The Flag] Films, the production company he founded with his brother Raphaël Rocher, produced both those films. 

“He has unique skills to set up edge of seat tension. We are confident he is the perfect director for this high-octane and entertaining action film,” said Boucon of the director.

In the French version, Buren is on the trail of a tough underworld crime gang, masquerading a larger crime operation behind a bank robbery and jewellery heist, while contending with a new boss who does not like his unorthodox methods.

Paris-based SND - the film production, distribution and sales arm of French broadcaster M6 - will handle French distribution and world sales. Vertigo will handle UK distribution of the title due for delivery at the end of 2015.

“Working with Vertigo Films and Capture [The Flag] Films to produce this project with us is a thrill. Vertigo Films has a great track record of high concept entertaining movies,” said SND’s director of acquisitions and international sales Lionel Uzan.

“As for Capture [The Flag] Films we know that they will help us deliver a stylish heart pumping thriller,” added Uzan.

The Squad is an ambitious and logical step in our work with director Benjamin Rocher,” said Capture [The Flag] Films CEO Raphaël Rocher.

“As a director he has proven his gift for spectacular movies with international reach.   We are proud to work on his third movie with such great partners as SND, Vertigo Films and - needless to say - Jean Reno. We look forward to creating with them the next generation of popular action movies.”