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'Who loves ya, baby?' Vin Diesel To Star In Big Screen Adaptation Of 'Kojak' For Universal

by Tambay A. Obenson
December 17, 2012 2:18 PM
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vin diesel

Of they could just create a new crime drama project for Vin Diesel to star in; but, no, it has to be based on an already existing work, if only because there's an already existing fan base for it, and they hope that Diesel's popularity will also attract new, younger audiences who may have never watched a single episode of the original TV series - believed by some to be one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

Of course I'm talking about Kojak (I think the name has even become a verb, or an adjective, hasn't it?), the gritty CBS police procedural series starring Telly Savalas as the bald, tough, usually dapper, stubborn and tenacious character - an NYC detective with a dark wit, who had no problem bending the rules if it meant getting the job done, and solving a case.

The series ran from 1973 to 1978, on CBS.

Universal Pictures has tapped the writing team of Neal Purvis & Robert Wade to pen the script for a movie that will star Vin Diesel as Kojak, but, as Deadline notes, re-imagined and contemporized for the big screen.

How much re-imagining and contemporizing will happen, we don't know yet. But since the writers hired are the same team who wrote the Skyfall script (they wrote the 4 previous Bond movies), maybe we'll get a less gritty, and more glossy Kojak.

Now let's all try imagining Diesel speaking Kojak's popular catchphrase, "Who loves ya, baby?"

Savalas, who died in 1994, was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series two years in a row, winning the Emmy in 1974. He was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Drama Series from 1975 to 1978, winning twice, in 1975 and 1976.

I wasn't around for the entire original run of the series, but I caught up much later, long after the series went off the air, when I was old enough to watch. Although it's been awhile; I need to revisit.

A glimpse below:

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  • Silver Zeal | December 24, 2012 2:51 AMReply

    Wasnt der a mo recent Kojak tv series starring Ving Rhames?

  • ALM | December 17, 2012 5:57 PMReply

    "Skyfall" was pretty gritty. Bald and sexy is back in effect!

  • Donella | December 17, 2012 4:44 PMReply

    He does have the voice. And the head.

  • Preston | December 17, 2012 4:41 PMReply


  • Emil B. Garuba | December 17, 2012 4:36 PMReply

    Didn't Ving Rhames already play Kojak in some TV movies a while back on USA network?

  • Yep, he did | December 17, 2012 4:49 PM

    Yes, a 10-part limited series on that network in 2005.

  • Darkan | December 17, 2012 3:33 PMReply

    This is one reboot I don't mind at all! Great casting on this one! Get in Vin. Should be exciting!

  • dee | December 17, 2012 2:44 PMReply

    When I first laid eyes on Vin Diesel...I said, he could play Kojak...he was made for the role

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