In a casting gambit probably suggested by the editors of Duh magazine, the folks at Universal pictures have decided to make bald, gravelly-voiced dude Vin Diesel the lead in the big screen adaptation of the 70s detective show Kojak they have in the works. Diesel’s undeniable possession of the most important two attributes needed to play Kojak, namely baldness and having a gravelly voice, likely vaulted him ahead of anyone else trying out for the role.
As this excellent Noel Murray piece describes, Kojak was a staple of 70s television, an era in which TV was filled with single name detective shows, each show featuring a one-name detective with his own particular gimmick. “As for Kojak, it had Telly Savalas with his big bald head, his three-piece suits, his lollipops, his Greek pride, and his “Who loves ya, baby?” Again, Diesel’s undeniable baldness and likely ability to utter the phrase “Who loves ya, baby?” in a deep voice make him a natural for the role.
Diesel will not only star and suck on lollipops but get a producing credit as well. The script will be provided by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have written the scripts for all of the last four James Bond films, including the critically well-received “Skyfall.” As is always the case with these things, the screenwriters say they are going to modernize and “re-imagine” the old property somehow. But clearly with Kojak, they realize the one thing that can’t be re-imagined is his baldness.