Vin Diesel to star as Kojak in film remake of classic seventies TV show

Based on a successful US TV show that ran for five seasons

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Vin Diesel will reportedly play New York detective Kojak in a new film version of the popular 1970s television series.

The US actor, who is also dubbed to produce the film written by Philip Gawthorne, will play the police lieutenant Theo Kojak, according to the Hollywood Deadline.

Diesel, 47, recently starred in the latest phenomenally successful Furious 7 instalment.

Kojak, played in the original CBS series by Telly Savalas, became a hugely popular and much loved character during the show’s five season run from 1978.

Although the series began with the tough lieutenant smoking, pressure from the regulators – as well as a broader movement during the seventies to quit smoking as the health risk became more apparent – led to the character sucking instead on lollipops.

In the course of the show’s success, ‘Kojak’ came to stand for – among other things – ‘lollipop’ in Chile and ‘bald man’ in Brazilian slang during the seventies.

It is thought that the new film will be produced by Diesel’s Universal-based One Race Films, with Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark. In 2012 Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the team behind the latest James Bond film Skyfall, joined the writing team to pen a previous draft.