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Tom Hardy, Gerard Butler, Jason Statham, Liam Neeson & Gary Oldman Eyed For 'The Professionals'

by Kevin Jagernauth
March 28, 2011 5:40 AM
5 Comments
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Neil Marshall No Longer Attached To Direct



Does "The Professionals" sound familiar? It might. Last spring, the project first cropped up with Neil Marshall set to direct but since then, word on the project has been quiet. But today, there is fresh life and some big, big names being tossed around as potential leads.

Deadline reports that Lionsgate UK has snatched up the rights to the project and movement is happening to lock down a director and cast with plans to shoot later this year. Based on the Brit cop show, which aired from 1977 to 1983, the story follows an ex-cop and an ex-soldier in a secret law enforcement division called CI5, who use unconventional, sometimes illegal means to fight crimes that can't be handled by the police. It's been described as a bit of a British "Starsky & Hutch." Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins played the original agent pair, with Gordon Jackson as their sour boss. But with this new version looking to raise the stakes and go big, no surprise on the names being tossed around. Tom Hardy, Gerard Butler and Jason Statham are being eyed for agents Bodie and Doyle, while Liam Neeson and Gary Oldman are on the wishlist for the boss.

Now, it should be stressed that none of them are confirmed, and depending on when the film will be shot scheduling is an issue. Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman will be tied up for most of the remaining part of the year in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises." Gerard Butler already has two films in the works for this year, the soccer comedy "Playing The Field" and plans to move on to Curtis Hanson's "Mavericks" right after. Liam Neeson just signed on for "Taken 2." While Jason Statham...well, he'll basically sign on for anything.

So it'll be interesting to see how this all plays out. Depending on who directs and who's interested, we won't be too surprised if production is moved to accommodate schedules. But it's pretty clear that producers Callum McDougall ("Casino Royale," "Quantum Of Solace") and Richard Whelan ("Captain America: The First Avenger") have big intentions for the film.

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5 Comments

  • Moody | December 23, 2011 4:46 AMReply

    Tom Hardy as Body would be great!!!!!!!!!!

  • marg | March 29, 2011 11:30 AMReply

    i agree, Butler and Neeson would make a great team.

    long time fan of both gentlemen.

  • marijana | March 29, 2011 6:09 AMReply

    well,there is nothing to say the best is JASON.

  • Stacia | March 29, 2011 3:23 AMReply

    Tom Hardy would be great!

  • Bett | March 28, 2011 11:35 AMReply

    Butler and Neeson would be a dynamite pairing and would draw both male and female audiences to the venture. If the producers are smart, this is the duo they would go after. They both have wide appeal with both sexes.

    As the second young player, I like Hardy.

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