Move Over, Telly Savalas, Vin Diesel Is the New Kojak

Vin Diesel

Today is the best day ever for people who have fantasized about Vin Diesel sucking on a lollipop. Deadline reports that Universal is setting the mumbly-mouthed mountain of a man up as the new actor to play Kojak, the ’70s-era NYPD detective best known for his bald head, dapper attire, and always having a lollipop hanging out of his mouth. The character originally appeared in a CBS crime procedural, also called Kojak, which aired from 1973-1978 and starred Greek-American actor Telly Savalas in the title role.

The good news doesn’t stop there, though. Every new big screen adaptation of an old TV show needs to start off by having a script, and along with securing Diesel in the title role, this new Kojak has also tapped Skyfall scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to put pen to page. Skyfall, of course, was one of the most financially successful films of 2012, and largely garnered positive reviews, so this is good news, no? Okay, so it’s more of a mixed bag when you factor in that they also wrote The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace, but let’s try to focus on the positive, okay?

Now that a screenwriting team and a star have been put in place for this new look at an old cop, there are two big questions that are still hanging in the air. The first is who they are going to get to direct the film, and the second is how they plan on squeezing Diesel into a bunch of fancy suits. Are there wranglers in Hollywood who get paid for things like that?

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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