Sexy Beast Prequel Series Has Been Resurrected For Paramount+

Paramount+ is proving that you should never say never, because the previously nixed prequel series based on the 2000 crime/romance film "Sexy Beast" has been revived from the dead and is heading to the streaming service. The 10-episode straight-to-series order intended for the Paramount Network in 2019 was canned the following year due to budget cuts, but now that Paramount+ has become the company's top priority, "Sexy Beast" is back on the menu. Set in the explosive criminal underbelly of London in the 1990s and based on the cult-classic film of the same name, the prequel show centers on the characters of ex-villain Gal Dove and his nemesis Don Logan (originated by Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley, respectively) in the years before Dove went away to prison and was an up-and-coming criminal forming a partnership with Logan. Dove begins working for crime lord Teddy Bass and meets and falls in love with DeeDee, an adult film star who becomes his wife. 

With Dove's talent for thievery and Logan's gift for gang violence, the series will explore the duo's complicated and sometimes volatile relationship. Paramount+ describes the series as "a love story between two men — à la 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,'" which sounds a bit like Paramount+ is trying their hand at making a series with the same energy as "Killing Eve," but for men. The series is being produced by Chapter One and Viacom International Studios, with Michael Caleo ("The Sopranos," "The Family") attached as showrunner.

The Sexy Beast prequel could be the next great crime series

The delay on the "Sexy Beast" prequel may be a blessing in disguise, as two major crime series are soon to come to a close. The Birmingham-set "Peaky Blinders" is due to finish after the next season, and the second half of the final season of "Ozark" is due in May 2022. There's about to be a huge void for highly stylized crime dramas, and "Sexy Beast" might be the perfect fill. The original film wasn't just a thrilling crime drama, it was also an unusually stylish and darkly comedic flick that earned Ben Kingsley an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Director Jonathan Glazer was known for his music video directing for bands like Massive Attack, Radiohead, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Blur, and was the visionary behind arguably one of the greatest music videos ever made, Jamiroquai's "Virtual Insanity." His unique vision paired with Louis Mellis and David Scinto's script was a recipe for perfection, transforming the common tropes of crime thrillers into a psychological nightmare complete with gigantic gun-wielding rabbit men. Glazer would go on to direct the hallucinogenic alien flick "Under the Skin," in case people need a comparative idea of just how bonkers Glazer's filmmaking style would become.

There's no word yet on when the "Sexy Beast" prequel is due out or any casting announcements, but we'll be sure to report on additional news as it becomes available.