The Tracker actor, who will star as Jack Reagan opposite Ben 'Plan B' Drew's George Carter in the big-screen remake, told Digital Spy that he hesitated about accepting the role until he read Nick Love and Alex Garland's script.
He said: "Before I read the script I wasn't sure about doing it because I liked John Thaw a lot and it was iconic, you're on a hiding to nothing there really. And then I read the script, which is a great script, it's got them old vibes about it. These people when they come through your front door don't mess around."
Winstone noted that the storyline, which updates the action for the present day, is "not all guns, twingling teeth and driving cars through brick walls".
He added: "We've got car chases and plenty of action but it's a really good script. You take a deep breath and say, 'Go on, I'm going to have some'. With Ben Drew, whose quite weighty from my neck of the woods, I think we're going to have a ball and I think we're going to make a good film."
> Interview: Ray Winstone talks Tracker
Watch Ray Winstone discuss The Sweeney below:
Tracker opens in UK cinemas on April 29 and is released on DVD on May 23.