Lionsgate UK has acquired the rights to produce a feature film version of cult UK TV series The Professionals, which is expected to start shooting on location in the UK in the autumn.
Lionsgate is teaming up with Callum McDougall, (currently producing the Clash Of The Titans sequel) and Richard Whelan, (recently produced Marvel’s Captain America), who will produce the big screen version through their company Eighth Wonder Pictures.
Originally created by Brian Clemens, the TV series became a hit in the UK in the late 1970s. The film version will feature the iconic crime fighting duo from the TV series Bodie and Doyle, revealing how the pair came together to unite for their first mission for covert British Security Unit Criminal Intelligence 5.
The film will be Lionsgate UK’s third feature production since the company announced its commitment to developing and producing British films in 2009. Its first two projects were the action thriller Blitz starring Jason Statham (which will be released in the UK on May 20) and Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, which is currently in post and is a co-production with BBC Films and Kudos
Lionsgate UK’s chief exectuive Zygi Kamasa told Screen: “We are pulling together the director and cast at the moment. We already have a draft of the script which is in really good shape, so we are looking to shoot October onwards.”
On Lionsgate’s move into production, Kamasa said that the aim was to make at least one film a year. “If you look at the kind of films we invest in, there is no particular genre, it’s anything that is broad and commercial. There are two or three things we are working on now.”