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Guy's Take On London's Gritty Underworld

Filmmaker Guy Ritchie's new British crime film, "RocknRolla" is a far cry from the days of wife Madonna frolicking on a sandybeach.

This time around, Ritchie portrays the grainy, seamy underworld of London with its inevitable violence in "RocknRolla," starring actors Jeremy Piven, "Ludacris" (Christopher Bridges), Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton and Tom Wilkinson.

CBS News correspondent Shelia MacVicar went to London to talk about Ritchie's excursion to the dark and violent side of the city.

Inspired by an article about how much London has changed in the last 20 years, comparing it to a "new - New York," Ritchie was onto something.

"It seemed like the perfect template to make a kind of urban western, if you will," he said.

One of the many villains that appear in the film is the new London stereotype - the Russian billionaire.

"The oligarch made an impact upon the English psyche in the last five years because they had such deep pockets," Ritchie said.

The clash begins as old school brits try to reclaim their territory.

In the true spirit of a shady mobster flick, Ritchie introduces a rather unusual form of torture involving crayfish.

"Actually I was staying at a friend's house one night there on the river. They threw in a crayfish trap at night and threw a chicken in it. And in the morning, the trap was full of crayfish and the chicken had been stripped of all its meat and I thought that's an interesting way to dispatch a body," he admitted.

Ritchie is capable of taking his characterizations to extreme. A perfect example of that is when actor Brad Pitt took on an incomprehensible dialect in "Snatch" - a joke the studio didn't get at first.

Ritchie's first major film "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" brought him success and critical acclaim. On the other hand,"Swept Away," starring his wife, Madonna, tanked in the box office.

Although "Swept Away" wasn't a success, he isn't ruling out the idea of making another film with his wife.

"I don't know. Never say never," Ritchie said.

Ritchie will begin filming this week in London on a project that is a departure for him, a period drama, but with a twist. The film is a re-working of the tales of the famed British detective Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr. in the title role.

For Ritchie, it means reverting back to his boyhood.

"I went to boarding school when I was very young. The way they put all the kids to sleep, they use to have speakers in all the dormitories, and we went through the entire series. Sherlock Holmes used to talk me to sleep every night when I was 7 years old," he said.

With one film currently out and another in production, along with his wife on a major concert tour, many wonder how Ritchie can juggle it all, find balance and make time for his family.

"Try hard," Ritchie said.

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