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Vin Diesel's 'Kojak' Lands a New Writer

Vin Diesel's long-discussed turn as the lollypop-chomping detective Kojak is inching closer to reality.

According to Deadline, Universal Pictures has hired British screenwriter Philip Gawthorne to pen the modern-day take of the 1970s television series. Diesel and Samantha Vincent will produce under their studio-based Once Race Films banner.

The project has been in the pipeline since at least 2012, when Universal tapped "Skyfall" scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to write what's intended as a starring vehicle for Diesel.

Airing on CBS from 1973 to 1978, "Kojak" starred Telly Savalas as Theo Kojak, a witty, well-dressed and incorruptible New York City police detective with a willingness to bend the law in pursuit of justice.

Diesel teased in 2013 that he'd like Ang Lee to direct the adaptation.

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