Moviegoers were disappointed when Ruben Fleischer ended up suffering from sophomore slump on this summer's 30 Minutes or Less, the followup to his fan-favorite feature-length directorial debut, Zombieland. The filmmaker looks to bounce back with his next project: the already eagerly-anticipated true-story crime drama, Gangster Squad.
Numerous noteworthy stars have joined the cast of Gangster Squad over the past two months - and now, Fleischer has at last begun principal photography, working from a script by former LAPD officer Will Beall (Castle).
Gangster Squad is based on a series of LA Times articles - titled (appropriately) "Tales From the Gangster Squad" - written by Paul Lieberman. Said articles detail the LAPD's attempts to take down the "Jewish Mafia" head Meyer Harris "Mickey" Cohen during the 1940s.
Here is an official synopsis for Gangster Squad:
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.
The film's cast also includes thespians like Robert Patrick and Michael Peña as members of the titular squad; Giovanni Ribisi as an electronics expert who works for the LAPD; Mireille Enos as Connie, John O'Mara's pregnant wife and aide in putting together his secret task force; Anthony Mackie as a capable cop who works the most dangerous and crime-ridden areas in the City of Angels; Nick Nolte as the incorruptible police chief who organizes the effort to take Cohen down; and Emma Stone as the woman intimately involved with both Cohen and Wooters (talk about awkward love triangles...).
Gangster Squad certainly has the makings of a fantastic real-life crime saga, given the stellar cast and credible talent working behind the scenes, including Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe (Chicago, Collateral, Memoirs of a Geisha). It could end up becoming a memorable and engaging crime drama, like The Untouchables for a new generation - or a slickly stylized, if less memorable, flick along the lines of Michael Mann's Public Enemies. Either way, this definitely sounds like one we can all look forward to.
We will let you know when Gangster Squad has an official theatrical release date.
Source: Warner Bros.