Director Frank Darabont, who awesomely brought The Walking Dead to TV, has now teamed up with the TNT network to adapt the John Buntin book L.A. Noir into a TV series. I think it sucks that Darabont ended up getting fired from The Walking Dead, but it's great to see that he's going to keep doing TV. This L.A Noir could be an amazing project and end up becoming a incredible series! There's no doubt Darabont is going to do an incredible job with this story.
The story is set in the 1940's and '50s, and the show will "examine the conflict between the often corrupt Los Angeles Police Department -- and its leader, Chief William Parker -- and underworld figures such as Mickey Cohen." Sounds like this show falls in right in line with the Ruben Fleischer-directed movie Gangster Squad. I enjoy reading history of the world of Los Angeles, so this is extremely interesting to me.
According to Variety, Darabont has signed on to both write and direct the series pilot. He'll executive produce with Michael De Luca and Elliot Webb. According to TNT's Michael Write,
The story of 'L.A. Noir' is inspired by an incredibly dramatic period in the history of Los Angeles. This project is a sweeping tale of the battle for the soul of the city that was waged between the forces of the LAPD and the West Coast mob.
Darabont had this to say in a statement:
Noir is a passion of mine, so I feel blessed to delve into a project that speaks in the hardboiled vernacular. John Buntin’s superb book, though non-fiction, is our touchstone and inspiration for the stories we’ll be telling, weaving fiction throughout the facts and facts throughout the fiction… The goal is to deliver on the tone that the title L.A. Noir promises: a smart, gritty, authentic, period noir drama.
I'm looking forward to seeing Darabont vision for this series. What are your thoughts on the director taking on L.A. Noir for TNT?
Here's the full description of the book:
Other cities have histories. Los Angeles has legends.
Midcentury Los Angeles. A city sold to the world as "the white spot of America," a land of sunshine and orange groves, wholesome Midwestern values and Hollywood stars, protected by the world’s most famous police force, the Dragnet-era LAPD. Behind this public image lies a hidden world of "pleasure girls" and crooked cops, ruthless newspaper tycoons, corrupt politicians, and East Coast gangsters on the make. Into this underworld came two men–one L.A.’s most notorious gangster, the other its most famous police chief–each prepared to battle the other for the soul of the city.
Former street thug turned featherweight boxer Mickey Cohen left the ring for the rackets, first as mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel’s enforcer, then as his protégé. A fastidious dresser and unrepentant killer, the diminutive Cohen was Hollywood’s favorite gangster–and L.A.’s preeminent underworld boss. Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, and Sammy Davis Jr. palled around with him; TV journalist Mike Wallace wanted his stories; evangelist Billy Graham sought his soul.
William H. Parker was the proud son of a pioneering law-enforcement family from the fabled frontier town of Deadwood. As a rookie patrolman in the Roaring Twenties, he discovered that L.A. was ruled by a shadowy "Combination"–a triumvirate of tycoons, politicians, and underworld figures where alliances were shifting, loyalties uncertain, and politics were practiced with shotguns and dynamite. Parker’s life mission became to topple it–and to create a police force that would never answer to elected officials again.
These two men, one morally unflinching, the other unflinchingly immoral, would soon come head-to-head in a struggle to control the city–a struggle that echoes unforgettably through the fiction of Raymond Chandler and movies such as The Big Sleep, Chinatown, and L.A. Confidential.
For more than three decades, from Prohibition through the Watts Riots, the battle between the underworld and the police played out amid the nightclubs of the Sunset Strip and the mansions of Beverly Hills, from the gritty streets of Boyle Heights to the manicured lawns of Brentwood, intersecting in the process with the agendas and ambitions of J. Edgar Hoover, Robert F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X. The outcome of this decades-long entanglement shaped modern American policing–for better and for worse–and helped create the Los Angeles we know today.
A fascinating examination of Los Angeles’s underbelly, the Mob, and America’s most admired–and reviled–police department, L.A. Noir is an enlightening, entertaining, and richly detailed narrative about the city originally known as El Pueblo de Nuestra Se–ora la Reina de los Angeles, "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels."
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