Robert Patrick is the latest actor to join the cast of Ruben Fleischer's new film Gangster Squad. He will be taking on the role of Officer Max Kennard, which is the part Bryan Cranston was previously attached to play. The character is described as "a laconic LAPD officer from Texas who enforces the law ambitiously." Patrick is an awesome actor that doesn't get enough good acting gigs, so I'm happy to see that he's joining this awesome sounding gangster drama. He will be joining Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Holt McCallany and Emma Stone, who is still in negotiations.
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.