Hey, you! You wanna see Vin Diesel suck a lollipop? That's what's going to happen now that the Fast Five star has signed up to play Detective Theo Kojak for Universal Pictures. Lollipops and murder, VIn Diesel-style. It's like they were reading our dream journal.
Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who co-wrote Casino Royale (2006) and Skyfall, are currently writing the feature film Kojak as a starring role for Vin Diesel, according to Deadline. No plot details are given at this time, nor is any director attached. Diesel is experiencing a career resurgence thanks to the unexpected popularity of Fast Five. His upcoming slate includes the sequel, Fast Six, the third Riddick movie, the sci-fi action comedy The Machine and the third film in the xXx franchise, reportedly titled xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (his character from the first film died off-screen, according to xXx: State of the Union).
The original television series "Kojak" ran on CBS from 1973-1978 and starred Telly Savalas (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) as the title character, a bald police detective known for his trademarked lollipop - he was trying to quit smoking - and the catchphrase "Who loves ya, baby?" The USA Network attempted to reboot the series in 2005 with Ving Rhames in the title role, but their version only lasted one season.
We actually think this material is the perfect fit for Vin Diesel, and not just because he shaves his head. Diesel's a decent actor and a strong screen presence, but most of his roles tend to lean towards action movie archetypes and sci-fi creations. He's due for a role that requires him to play a well-rounded adult who doesn't spend all his time racing cars, jumping out of airplanes and killing aliens. We buy Diesel as a police detective. Sure, he played one before, but it was the forgettable 2003 thriller A Man Apart. Let's give him a mulligan.