EXCLUSIVE: Giovanni Ribisi has landed a co-starring role in Warner Bros’ The Gangster Squad, the period crime drama Ruben Fleischer is directing that stars Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen, and Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin as members of the elite cop squad that are after him in 1949 Los Angeles. Anthony Mackie and Michael Pena also are aboard. Will Beall wrote the script. Langley Park Pictures and Lin Pictures are producing. Ribisi, repped by CAA and Management 360, will play Conway Keeler, a cop in the group who is a master of electronics and wires. He is currently shooting Universal’s Ted and next appears in FilmDistrict’s The Rum Diary opposite Johnny Depp.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros and producer Joel Silver have set Will Beall to write Lethal Weapon, with a take that will relaunch the buddy cop series with a new cast. Beall, a former LA police officer who patrolled South Central and wrote the novel L.A. Rex, has seen his stock rise at the studio because of his script Gangster Squad, the period crime drama about an elite crime squad that fought against organized crime kingpins like Mickey Cohen. Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer has come aboard to direct that film.
Warner Bros has been messing around for some time with Lethal Weapon 5, with a treatment written by original scribe Shane Black. The plan was to bring the original team back, but schedules didn’t match up and Mel Gibson’s image has taken a self-inflicted beating. Beall pitched a take that maintains the tone of the original–a hard R-rated edgy street cop movie. Beall’s repped by CAA and Management 360.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has begun negotiations with Zombieland‘s Ruben Fleischer to direct Gangster Squad, the 40s crime drama that is regarded as one of the hotter scripts in the studio’s arsenal. The film is set in the 40s and 50s and is the fact-based tale by 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 who wrote the novel L.A. Rex. The project has had such hot directors as Ben Affleck and Darren Aronofsky giving it serious consideration, as well as Fleischer. Dan Lin and Kevin McCormick are producing.
Fleischer made his feature directing debut with the 2009 corpse comedy Zombieland for Sony Pictures Entertainment, and that studio has done a good job keeping the rising star in the fold. The studio is developing a Zombieland sequel, acquired the project Babe in the Woods that has Fleischer attached, and is expected to acquire for distribution the MRC pic that Fleischer is currently directing, 30 Minutes or Less. Fleischer is repped by UTA.