There’s something sacred about cult classic movies—you don’t want to mess with the lightning in a bottle magic that a film captured decades prior. But in this era of reboots, remakes and film-to-TV adaptations, Hollywood has become emboldened to take fan-favorite, iconic films and retool them for the modern era. Sometimes, it actually works and a network makes a hit out of a beloved property, striking gold in the Peak TV age. But most of the time, the original should have been left well enough alone.
Crackle’s TV adaptation of the popular 2000 film Snatch is of the former party.
Now a high-stakes, high-octane 10-episode series on the streaming site, the action, gangster mentality, heists and rapid-fire dialogue that earned the original movie a global fame over the past 17 years has been updated with an all-new cast of characters but still captures the feeling and tone of the original movie. Inspired by a real life heist in London, the new original series centers on a group of twenty-something, up and coming hustlers who stumble upon a truck load of stolen gold bullion and are suddenly thrust into the high-stakes world of organized crime. They must quickly learn to navigate the treacherous waters of London’s underworld as rogue cops, gypsy fighters, international mobsters and local villains descend.
“I’ve known [original Snatch film director] Guy [Ritchie] for a long time so when I was approached by Crackle to look at this I went to him and said, ‘How do you feel about it? Do I do it?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, if it’s f–king good,’” showrunner Alex De Rakoff said at the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour panel. “And that was the end of it. I took that on and worked tirelessly ever since to try and do something that in some way holds up to the standard of the original film.”
The series is “loosely based on” the movie, and De Rakoff never wanted to simply redo the movie as a TV show. “You look at the original film and it’s irreverent, it’s ballsy, it’s stylistic and it is real iconic in the U.K.,” he said. “We wanted to take the spirit of the show and evoke that same stylistic feeling but obviously as long form television we get to deliver that in our own way. We created our own world of it. It has a very English spirit, the way they approach the hustles and the heist and the weapons that they use are very East London.”
The cast is comprised of a new generation of actors, ranging from Harry Potter star Rupert Grint to Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick, and they all knew how big the project’s history was when they signed on.
“Huge fan of the film. From scene to scene, it was iconic for me,” Westwick said. “There was such big talk in the playground, big talk in the office, amongst my friends, throughout life it’s always been iconic. I think that stretches not just for the UK but around the globe. It’s Snatch, you know? It’s a privilege to have had that, take it and create our own new Snatch, if you will.”
“It was this iconic cult classic,” Grint added.
Becoming these East London wannabe gangsters was something that excited Grint because of how different it was from the role that catapulted him to fame. But these young men aren’t bad guys.
“They’re all trying to escape something, particularly from their home life,” Grint said. “They all have quite complicated home foundations. Charlie has these bohemian hippie parents that have these weird sex parties and grow weed so he’s always trying to escape that. We’ll see where it goes. We get completely out of our depth. We’re just small time scammers and suddenly we find ourselves deep, deep trouble with lethal consequences. Its’ interesting how each of our characters deal with it in different ways.”
Grint not only stars but he also executive produces Snatch, and the television medium was something he looked forward to tackling. “It’s something I really relish and it’s something that I haven’t really had the opportunity to do, have a character and really develop it further and really carve out a journey,” Grint said. “I think that’s great of the long format of Snatch and not something the film could really touch on. I find it very exciting.”
And he isn’t afraid of alienating his younger fans who might only know him from Harry Potter. “The nature of [Snatch] is a much more adult project,” he said. “But I think that’s just a natural progression. As I’ve gotten older things get more dark, more grown up and a bit more edgy. But I would still say it’s got some family elements to it as well. There’s something for everyone in it. There’s a lot of comedy in it.”
As for Westwick, his character Sonny Castillo is a complete departure from what Gossip Girl fans are used to seeing from him. “I play a Cuban born Miami gangster,” he said with a laugh. “Obviously I’m not from that part of the world, surprise surprise. I spent a lot of time finding who to base it on. I settled on Pitbull the rapper. I don’t know if I actually end up sounding like him but it felt like a good fit. And guess what, even if you don’t like it I do.”
While he starred on Gossip Girl for six seasons, Westwick doesn’t believe any of his previous roles influence his current or future ones.
“I don’t really approach work by looking backwards,” Westwick said. “What I’ve done is what I’ve done and what’s in front of me is what’s in front of me. So with this, I got a script and I was a big fan of the script instantly. Then of course when you take into consideration the title and the history that comes with that, as a big fan of the original piece, so then it was just a match made in heaven. I was like, ‘Sign me up. Let’s do it.’ I can’t wait to see where it all goes.”
Original article found at nerdist.com January 13th, 2017