Tales from the Gangster Squad is a screenplay about a secret squad of mercenary LAPD officers who tried to run gangster Mickey Cohen out of town in the 1940’s. For those (like me) not quite up to scratch on their 1940’s-era gangster history, Vulture explain as follows (in fairly spoilerific fashion!):-
Cohen, for those unfamiliar, started out as hired muscle for Al Capone in Chicago, but blossomed as a mogul after being sent to Los Angeles by Murder, Inc. kingpin Meyer Lansky to surveille Bugsy Siegel, with whom Cohen helped set up the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas and ran its sports-betting operation. He also ran a panoply of L.A. businesses, presumably as fronts to launder money — including floral shops, paint stores, nightclubs, casinos, gas stations, a haberdashery, and an ice-cream parlor — before getting busted for tax evasion in 1950 and serving four years in federal prison.
The screenplay should have that unmistakable whiff of authenticity about it. Although based on a series of LA Times articles by journalist Paul Lieberman, the script itself is by former South-Central LA cop Will Beall, who is also a novelist and TV writer (on ABC’s crime drama Castle). A film about LA cops, set in LA, written by a former LA cop. Should be juicy.
Needless to say, Affleck has not signed on yet and it’s unclear whether he would even have the time for the project, were he inclined to give it a go. He is looking at directing the pilot episode for Homeland, a TV series about a sleeper cell and ex-CIA operative (no, it’s not 24 by a different name, though one of that show’s producers is on board) and he is also rumoured to have in mind a possible two-hander with his old mucker Matt Damon.
As is always the way, we have a very talented director with a lot of options in front of him and limited time available. We will let you know which way he goes as soon as we hear.
Thanks to Vulture for the heads up.