Screenwriting team Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have made a career out of penning James Bond thrillers from The World is Not Enough to Casino Royale and Skyfall. With the latest of these scoring widespread praise and tearing it up at the box office—to the tune of $951 million worldwide to date—this dynamic duo is being sought by studios looking to create smart and exhilarating action features. But for now, these two screenwriters will have to leave slick spies behind them.

Deadline reports that Universal has hired Purvis and Wade to adapt the 1970s TV series Kojak into a vehicle for Vin Diesel. The procedural show starred Telly Savalas, the titular New York City cop with incorruptible ideals, serious swagger and the classic catchphrase "Who Loves ya, Baby?" Purvis and Wade will have five seasons of the Golden Globe-winning series to pour over to get a feel for how to translate Kojak to the big screen, but with Diesel attached to star, they already have a good base.

Between the Fast and Furious features and Riddick franchise, Diesel has a long history of being able to handle the kind of action we can safely assume Universal wants folded into the Kojak movie. Beyond that, he's a star with an easy affability and charm, and true to the iconography of Kojak, he can pull off the bald look with plenty of panache. All in all, it sounds like the project is a great fit for Diesel. The addition of such established thriller scripters is all the more reason to anticipate the return of New York's lollipop-loving cop.
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