It's great to see Hollywood's interest in the history of gangsters rising. Most recently we had the Michael Mann film Public Enemies. Then we've got a few other films that revolve around gangsters in the works... Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar Hoover biopic that is being developed with Leonoard DiCaprio, a movie about John Gotti, along with a new film that will tell the story of Pretty Boy Floyd.
Now The LA Times reports that Warner Bros. is looking to make a film called Tales From the Gangster Squad. This is being set up as an action movie that will bring together an ensemble cast of top-level actors, much like what we saw with The Departed.
The movie will be based on a series of articles in the Los Angeles Times written by Paul Lieberman back in 2008. The articles examine an LAPD unit that's set up in the 1940s to fend off the growing influence of the East Coast Mafia in the city. The police group ended up becoming very powerful, and the battles with the Mafia escalated leading to mayhem and betrayals.
Up-and-coming screenwriter Will Beall has been hired by the studio to punch out a script for Gangster Squad. He hasn't really done much, but apparently The Departed producers Dan Lin and Kevin McCormick see the potential. Beall is a former police officer and the author of a novel called L.A. Rex, which he's also helping develop into a feature film for producer Scott Rudin.
As of right now there are no actors attached to star in the film, and there is no director to direct it, but it is looking like it will all come together. Warner Bros. has high hopes for this film if they are looking to bring on a bunch of A-List talent.
This story will make for an epic cops vs gangsters movie. You've got to read this series of articles over at the LA Times, this is an absolutely incredible story. It's titled Crusaders in the underworld: The LAPD take on organized crime, and here is the opening of the story...
The Gangster Squad was formed in 1946 to keep East Coast Mafia out of L.A. Its 'anything goes' approach endured through the 1950s in an era when justice was found far from the courthouse.
I'm a huge history buff, and I love that these gangster stories are being developed into feature films. I can't wait to see how Tales From the Gangster Squad ends up being developed.