As Warner Bros. preps up for production on their new period police saga The Gangster Squad, they have entered into negotiations with Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston to take on a role in the film, if officially cast he will join the likes of Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Michael Pena and Anthony Mackie. Damn, this movie has put together a great cast.
Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is attached to directed the film project which comes from a script written by Will Beall, a former Los Angeles Police officer.
Cranston will play a character named Max Kennard, "a laconic LAPD officer from Texas who enforces the law ambitiously." It was also recently reported that the actor landed a role in Ben Affleck's hostage-rescue thriller Argo over at Warner Bros.
As we previously reported, 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. The LAPD unit was a secret "off the record" police task force who went after Meyer Harris "Mickey" Cohen, a high-profile gangster who was a member of the "Jewish Mafia".
Cohen 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, who Cohen helped set up the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas and ran it's 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.
You should definitely read the 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.
This is going to make one hell of an awesome movie, and I can't wait to see it!