By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com January 4, 2012 at 11:02AM
In Hollywood, barely anything is greenlit without the prospect of a sequel already percolating in the minds of studio executives (you can be sure that somewhere, there's a serviette with plot outlines for "We Bought A Zoo Too," "J. Edgars" and "My Week With Marilyn: Tokyo Drift"), but in the U.K., this phenomenon is much rarer. It's hard enough to get a film made, let alone get anyone to see the thing, and thus it's not often that filmmakers count their chickens before they hatch and start development on a sequel without knowing that they've got a hit in the bag.
But it seems that Vertigo Films feel that they're on to a good thing with "The Sweeney." An adaptation of the beloved '70s cop show (one of the inspirations for TV hit "Life on Mars"), from director Nick Love ("The Football Factory"), which stars Ray Winstone and "Harry Brown" villain Ben Drew (better known as rapper/soul singer Plan B) as tough nut Flying Squad officers Regan & Carter, the film has only just wrapped, and won't hit UK screens until September, but according to Screen Daily, the company are already moving ahead with plans for a follow-up.
According to the trade, Love (who also co-founded Vertigo) is in talks with his two leads to sign on for a second film, expected to be more globe-trotting in nature than the London-set original, and possibly a prequel detailing the two cops' first case together. At present, there's no word if any of the supporting cast, which includes "Captain America" breakout star Hayley Atwell and "Homeland" star Damian Lewis, will also return, but we imagine not.
While we have a real distaste for Love's particular brand of thuggish gangster/hooligan movies, he's not without talent, and we maintain a glimmer of hope that this could turn out to be head-cracking fun, and presumably all are involved are happy with the shoot if sequel talk is starting already, even if we think it's unlikely it'll get the greenlight until the box office numbers are in. And it's not the only sequel the company are working on. A followup to the homegrown hit "Streetdance 3D" lands in May, while the already announced sequel to the indie hit "Monsters" is still in the works, along with the already shot London-set remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's "Pusher." We'll find out how "The Sweeney" turns out when it hits U.K. cinemas on September 21st.