Back in mid-November, we reported that Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer was in contention to direct the Warner Bros. film Gangster Squad. Now, it would appear that Fleischer has edged his way into the top position for the film.
Gangster Squad, which was developed from the seven-part LA Times series "Tales from the Gangster Squad", will focus on organized crime in LA following World War II.
More specifically, according to Variety, "the newspaper series, penned by Paul Lieberman, chronicled efforts by the LAPD to deal with a chaotic and corrupt Los Angeles by forming what was dubbed the Gangster Squad to keep the East Coast Mafia out of the city."
Gangster Squad sounds a bit like a mix between The Untouchables and L.A. Confidential, which could make for a pretty excellent movie in the right hands. I've always enjoyed crime movies, and there's something about the post-WWII era that I find fascinating. The country was changing in major ways, and criminals were no exception. The fact that the script was written by former LAPD officer Will Beall only makes the project that much more intriguing.
With the breakout success of his debut film, Zombieland, Ruben Fleischer has made quite an impression in Hollywood. Obviously, this film would be much different from Fleischer's critically acclaimed horror-comedy, as well as his upcoming comedy 30 Minutes or Less, starring Danny McBride and Jesse Eisenberg, but that certainly shouldn't exclude him from consideration.
If Fleischer does accept the director's chair for this project, it will be exciting to see what he can do with the material. At the very least it will give some lucky Hollywood casting director the opportunity to fill a screen with tough guys and gangsters. Doesn't it seem like the best character actors always end up playing criminals of some kind?
We'll keep track of Gangster Squad as this story develops.