LOS ANGELES (AFP) – American television network NBC is working with action star Vin Diesel on a reboot of hit police drama “Miami Vice,” sources told AFP on Wednesday.
The network has not announced the project officially but insiders say the 50-year-old actor’s One Race Television production company is teaming up with Universal Television and Chris Morgan, who wrote six of the “Fast and Furious” movies starring Diesel.
It is not clear if Diesel will appear in the reboot and no executive producers are locked down yet.
But Peter Macmanus, who has written for Spike TV’s “The Mist” and USA’s “Satisfaction,” will produce a script based on the original series, sources with knowledge of the project told AFP.
It will be the latest in a string of television reboots of favorite detective and other procedural properties from the big and small screen, including CBS’s “MacGyver,” and “Hawaii Five-O,” as well as Fox’s “Lethal Weapon.”
“Miami Vice” depicted a dark, glamorous side of the once crime-ridden city that is credited with assisting a revival after years in which its main claim to fame was being the chief American entry point for illegal drugs.
Miami was at the center of a thriving and violent cocaine empire that spawned more than 1,500 homicides in 1981, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that cocaine trafficking in 1979 netted $10 billion in wholesale trade alone.
Miami’s bad reputation peaked in 1982 when Brian De Palma filmed in his crime drama “Scarface,” in which Al Pacino embodied a ruthless thug who murdered his way to the top of the drug empire.
“Miami Vice,” which ran from 1984 to 1989 on NBC, also showcased the city’s violent side, but with an exotic twist that put the city back on the map as a destination for tourists seeking its beaches and nightlife.
Detectives Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs, played by Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas, wore expensive, pastel colored suits and drove around in Ferraris and speedboats, with Miami a constant backdrop.
A “Miami Vice” movie directed by Michael Mann and starring Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell briefly topped the North American box office in the summer of 2006.
The TV series has been in the works for months, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which said Diesel came up with the idea to revive the show, making a personal appeal to NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke.