The "inspired by real events" crime drama Gangster Squad has been generating loads of positive buzz, due in no small part to director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) having assembled an intimidating crew of actors to star.
Variety has learned that the latest addition to the cast of Gangster Squad is Robert Patrick (Die Hard 2, Terminator 2), who will take on the role previously being eyed by Bryan Cranston. Patrick will appear alongside big names like Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Michael Pena, Giovanni Ribisi, and possibly Emma Stone in the mobster tale.
Patrick will play what sounds like a Dirty Harry-style character named Max Kennard, a "laconic LAPD officer from Texas who enforces the law ambitiously." He will serve under the command of Brolin and Gosling's cop characters, who head the secret LAPD force that is charged with taking down "Jewish Mafia" head Meyer Harris “Mickey” Cohen (Penn) during the 1940s in Gangster Squad.
With former LAPD cop Will Beall handling screenwriting duties, it seems all the more likely that Gangster Squad could be a legitimately gritty crime saga to follow in the footsteps of films like L.A. Confidential - and less so Public Enemies, which also had a great cast and engaging subject matter, but is generally regarded as more a triumph of style over substance.
The Dude is literally dead in R.I.P.D., an adaptation of a lesser-known Dark Horse comics title about a no-longer-breathing police force who patrol crime in the afterlife. Ryan Reynolds is headlining the film as a recently-deceased cop who teams up with a fellow dead gunslinger (Jeff Bridges, playing a supernatural version of his True Grit character) in order to solve his own murder.
Variety has learned that Kevin Bacon is currently in talks to sign on for R.I.P.D, in a villainous role. That means the actor intends to follow-up his turn as the mutant Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class by playing the bad guy in another comic book movie. Seeing how well Bacon worked as a slimy villain in the X-Men (sorta) prequel, that reads as being more good news for the R.I.P.D. adaptation, in the casting department.
R.I.P.D. is being scripted by writing duo Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, whose resume includes titles like Clash of the Titans, Æon Flux, and the Jackie Chan action-comedy The Tuxedo. That filmography doesn't bode all that well for their comic book adaptation, but perhaps having stars like Bridges and Bacon - along with a director like Schwentke onboard - will help prevent the supernatural crime tale from becoming the next Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.
R.I.P.D. is slated for theatrical release on June 28th, 2013.
Gangster Squad is expected to reach theaters no later than 2013. We'll let you know when it has an official release date.
Source: Variety (link 1) (link 2)