Vin Diesel ‘Kojak’ Movie Moves Ahead with Screenwriter Philip Gawthorne

Universal Studios is gearing up its “Kojak” movie with playwright Philip Gawthorne on board for Vin Diesel’s bigscreen version of the Telly Savalas cop series.

Gawthorne recently signed on to write the script for Lionsgate’s remake of sci-fi thriller “Cube.” His TV credits include the BBC series “Eastenders,” “Casualty” and “Holby City.”

Kojak” is being produced by Diesel’s Universal-based One Race Films with Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the writing team behind James Bond films including “The World Is Not Enough” and “Skyfall,” joined the project in 2012 to write a previous draft.

Diesel, the star of “Furious 7,” announced on June 17 that he’s been asked by Lionsgate to reprise his starring role in a sequel to “The Last Witch Hunter,” which opens in October.

“Kojak” debuted in 1973 with Savalas as a tough New York City cop with a penchant for Tootsie Pops. The series ran for five seasons on CBS.

Kristin Lowe and Jay Polidoro will oversee “Kojak” for the studio. Gawthorne is repped by CAA, 42 in the U.K. and Bloom Hergott.

The news about Gawthorne was first reported by Deadline.

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