The cult British gangster movie Sexy Beast is getting a small-screen prequel. The new series will tell the origin stories of the unhinged duo Don Logan and Teddy Bass and the retired, reluctant gangster Gal Dove. The writers of Sexy Beast, Louis Mellis and David Scinto, will serve as executive producers.
The yet-to-be-titled project, which is in development, is expected to chart the rise of Dove before his retirement in Spain, which is the focus of the Glazer film, in which Logan attempts to persuade him back for one last job. So my question is will this turn out to be another Fargo, or Get Shorty, or Hannibal? Those each turned out respectable. Or is this going to turn out like recent TV series based on movies such as Heathers, Blade: The Series, Rush Hour, Damien, Minority Report and Taken? Just to name a few, of course. No comment on Clarice, the just announced sequel TV series to Silence of the Lambs.
Jonathan Glazer’s quirky crime thriller Sexy Beast has achieved cult status, notable for the career-best performances from Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley and Ian McShane.
As safe-cracker Gal Dove, Winstone for once gave a nuanced performance, not his usual cockney shtick, whilst Kingsley was a revelation as unhinged mobster Don Logan. McShane actually kickstarted his ailing career with his portrayal of the demonic Teddy Bass, a role that led to Deadwood, American Gods and a number of high profile movies. Prior to Sexy Beast, he was best remembered in the UK as the roguish antiques dealer Lovejoy, in BBC1’s gentle comedy-drama of the same name. Acid-trip visuals, pitch-black humour, a great soundtrack, and some shocking (and unexpected) violence made Sexy Beast a movie to savor, but will a prequel series besmirch the picture’s reputation -- or honour it, in the same way Fargo, Get Shorty and Hannibal each have done for their respective predecessors?
For the series, the auguries are mixed. Showrunner Karyn Kasuma is an admirer of Glazer, but her track record is uneven, with 2000’s Girlfight and 2015’s highly-rated thriller The Invitation, but also 2005’s dud Aeon Flux. A strong feminist aesthetic informs Kasuma’s work, so expect the series to focus on Gal’s wife and love of his life, former porn star DeeDee (played by Amanda Redman in the movie).
With Michael Caleo (The Sopranos) on board as writer/producer and original Sexy Beast screenwriters Louis Mellis and Dave Scinto as executive producers, the prospects appear to be promising for the show. Although it’s going to be difficult to find actors who can fill the shoes of Kingsley and McShane as younger versions of Logan and Bass.
Hmmm.. maybe Rufus Sewell (The Man in the High Castle, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) as Bass perhaps? And another casting suggestion out of left field, maybe Daniel Radcliffe as Logan? He played a skinhead in 2016’s Imperium.
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