Sexy Beast, a film about two warring criminals starring Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley, is back. But this time it's a TV show set to debut on one of the best streaming services and it takes place a decade before the events of the big Brit blockbuster.
The eight-episode series is set in London's glamorous night-time economy and its considerably grubbier gangster underworld, and if it's anything like the movie, we're in for a smartly written and no doubt violent treat. We certainly won't need to wait long to find out: it's going to premiere on Paramount Plus on January 24.
The prequel series focuses on two friends, Gal Dove (James McArdle) and Don Logan (Emun Elliot), who become part of London's criminal underground in the 1990s. Gal and Don were the key characters of the film too, and the series will show how they became so feared. With Michael Caleo of The Sopranos as executive producer and showrunner, the omens for this one are good.
As Variety reported earlier this year: "The show follows Gal and Don as best friends and small-time thieves living the good life in ‘90s East London. The series will explore Gal and Don’s complicated relationship as Gal finds himself descending into the seductive madness of the London criminal world during the vibrant and volatile 1990s, while falling in love with DeeDee." DeeDee is played by Sarah Greene of Dublin Murders and Normal People, and her relationship with Gal may well turn out to be a whole world of trouble.
As Caleo told Variety: "I feel so fortunate to be able to explore these beautifully crafted characters a decade before we met them in the original story. This series has been a great passion of mine for many years and I cannot wait to see it come to life with this amazing cast.”
This could be really good. The film it's based on was a breath of fresh air in a genre that had become incredibly hackneyed with its endless mot-ahhs and shoot-ahhs. Sexy Beast was a different beast, as much a comedy caper as a thriller. But a huge part of that film's success was down to the actors in the lead roles, with Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley delivering really strong performances that made their characters as human as they were horrible. Those are seriously big shoes for McArdle and Elliot to fill. Here's hoping they do.