Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is currently shooting his 1940's LAPD gangster film Gangster Squad, and today we have out first official look at two of the films stars, Sean Penn and Josh Brolin. I'm really excited about this movie, not only am I a fan of gangster and cop film, I love researching these kinds of historical true stories.
Ruben recently did an interview to go along with the image above with EW and here's some of the stuff he had to say. Read it over and tell us what you think!
On why he wanted to direct the movie:
I was just looking for an opportunity to try something new, and when I read the script, I was completely passionate about it. I think that passion and that love for Los Angeles and the love for this period of time and the love for this genre kind of swayed any misgivings the studio might have had. It’s been a real step forward for me. The size and scale and period — and just the L.A. of it — makes the movie singular and special.
On what attracted him to this story:
I was an American History major in college, and I think that the post-war era is one of the most exciting times in American history. There’s just so much change happening and so much innovation. There was also a lot of transition. And I think L.A. at that time represents that better than anywhere else just because it was a new city. It was less than 100 years old in 1949, and there was a ton of soldiers and people moving to the city and the suburbs were expanding. So it’s just a great backdrop for the world of this movie.
Here he offers some story details:
We’ve taken some creative license but tried to stay true to the original story and characters as much as possible. O’Mara (Josh Brolin), our lead character, has just come back from fighting the Nazis with all these ideals after seeing America at its greatest. And he’s come home and there’s a gangster running his city. While he was gone, Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) took over and he turned the streets of L.A. into a battle zone. In our story, O’ Mara takes the lead of the Gangster Squad, a vigilante police force that fights the gangsters on their own terms, and the battle between them is for the future of Los Angeles: whether it’s going to become corrupt and run by this bunch of gangsters or these guys who fought for these values and want L.A. to be the shining beacon on the west coast that it was always intended to be.
Here's a description of the image above:
Ultimately it’s the story between these two guys. It’s Josh and Sean who face off at the end after a big gun battle between the Gangster Squad and Cohen and his men. O’Mara catches up to Cohen and Sean mockingly says, “Okay, copper, take me in.” It ends in a fistfight between Cohen and O’Mara, and it was a pretty epic sequence to film between Josh and Sean.
On Ryan Goslings character:
Ryan’s character also went to war, but when he came back, he was a little disillusioned. So he’s more on the fence, hanging out in nightclubs and hanging out with guys who might be gangsters. He’s less clear on where he stands in terms of standing up against Mickey Cohen. But he finds himself in a love triangle with Cohen and Emma Stone’s femme fatale character.
As we previously reported, this film take palce in a 1940's Los Angeles, and is based on a true story. I've been excited for this project ever since it was first announced, and it's been cool seeing it all come together because the movie has a great director and incredible cast, which includes Sean Penn as real-life mobster Mickey Cohen, Josh Brolin and Gosling as the LAPD's Sgt. John O’Mara and Jerry Wooters, and Stone plays Grace Faraday, Cohen's moll and the object of Wooters' attention.
Robert Patrick plays Officer Max Kennard, a deadly cop who patrols the Olvera Street beat. Michael Peña (Battle: Los Angeles) plays Kennard's over-eager sidekick, Navidad Ramirez. Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar) takes on the force's Conway Keeler, an electronics expert who takes as much pleasure in fixing his son's bike as he does tinkering with experimental, military-grade equipment, and Anthony Mackie (The Adjustment Bureau) plays the character Coleman Harris, a switchblade-wielding cop who proudly patrols one of the most crime-ridden areas of the city.
Here's the Synopsis for the movie:
Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and—if he has his way—every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It's enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop... except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen's world apart.