“Gangster Squad”, also known as “Tales From the Gangster Squad”, has attracted a lot of attention from big name Hollywood directors. Or at least the folks at Warner Bros. want to attach a big name to the 40s era mobster tale. Both Ben Affleck and Darren Aronofsky expressed a tenuous interest in the film for a hot minute, and Scott Cooper (“Crazy Heart”, “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”) and Jose Padhila (“Elite Squad”) have been name dropped as potential candidates to take the helm.
Now it looks like Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”), a name that has also been volleyed around since the early days, has emerged at the frontrunner. According to Deadline, he is in negotiations to take over “Gangster Squad”.
The film is set in the 40s and 50s and is the fact-based tale of a squad of elite Los Angeles officers who fought organized crime kingpins like Mickey Cohen. It has been compared in tone to period crime films like “The Untouchables” and “L.A. Confidential”. The film is based on a series of articles by Paul Lieberman and was scripted by Will Beall, a former South Central Los Angeles cop.
Fleischer is a busy little beaver at the moment. The director, who made his debut with “Zombieland”, is currently working on the crime comedy “30 Minutes or Less”, an untitled buddy-cop movie, “Babe in the Woods” (another action comedy), and is developing a “Zombieland” sequel, which will reportedly be in 3D.