EXCLUSIVE: James Ellroy‘s 1990s novel L.A. Confidential was turned into an acclaimed feature starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger and produced by Regency. Now Ellroy and New Regency are shopping an L.A. Confidential sequel targeted for the small screen. I’ve learned that Ellroy wrote the project on spec as a TV drama series, which is being pitched to broadcast and cable networks as well as emerging distribution platforms, with multiple outlets interested. I hear the project is eyeing a straight-to-series commitment. The sequel continues the themes and stories from L.A. Confidential, a murder mystery which examined the intersection of organized crime, police corruption, celebrity and tabloid journalism in 1950s Los Angeles. The 1997 film, co-written and directed by Curtis Hanson, earned nine Oscar nominations, winning two awards, for best screenplay and best supporting actress (Basinger).
The L.A. Confidential sequel is one of the first major projects to come out of the TV division of New Regency, which was re-started last year with the hire of Syfy’s Andrew Plotkin. It combines the company’s strategy of mining its movie library for TV series adaptations and bringing in new material. Meanwhile, CAA-repped Ellroy just sold another LA-set period drama. Based on Ellroy’s 2012 novella Shakedown, the project, which has been set up at FX as a pitch, is set in … Read More »
FX has bought a drama pitch from L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy and producers Joe Roth and Clark Peterson. Based on Ellroy’s 2012 novella Shakedown, the project is set in the tabloid world and underbelly of Los Angeles circa the late 1950s and centers on the city’s top informant/operator/wire tapper/fixer, Fred Otash, who lives and works where the glamour and the grime intersect. A fictionalized version of legendary Hollywood vice cop-turned-private eye Otash, who exposed the sins of the rich and famous in the 1950s magazine Confidential, also appeared in Ellroy’s novels The Cold Six Thousand and Blood’s a Rover.
Ellroy, repped by CAA and manager Joel Gotler, is writing Shakedown and will executive produce the series with Roth, Peterson, Steven Hoban and Palak Patel for FX Prods. This marks a return to FX for Ellroy, who developed cop drama Throwdown Gun at the network two years ago. On the feature side, James Franco recently signed on to direct and star in an adaptation of Ellroy’s American Tabloid.
Jen Yamato is a Deadline contributor.
James Franco said today that he will direct and star in the James Ellroy adaptation American Tabloid. Deadline is hearing that the period adaptation is still coming together and is in the early stages, but Franco spilled the news to MTV while promoting his trio of festival projects at Sundance. Ellroy’s 1995 novel follows five years in the lives of three ex-law enforcement officers embroiled in shady interconnected Washington dealings that lead to President Kennedy’s 1963 assassination — a saga peppered with real-life figures including Jimmy Hoffa, Jack Ruby, Howard Hughes, and the Kennedy clan. Bruce Willis previously tried to turn American Tabloid and its sequel The Cold Six Thousand into an HBO TV miniseries in 2002 before Kirk Ellis took a stab at adapting the material for Tom Hanks’ Playtone and HBO in 2009. Read More »