'Zombieland' was one of the more pleasant surprises of 2009, a fun, silly riff on a genre that has otherwise been played to death. Still, nothing in that film screamed "Epic Period Gangster Drama," which makes director Ruben Fleischer an unexpected but entirely pleasant choice for Warner Bros.' 'Gangster Squad,' the story of the titular group of police officers who battled organized crime in Los Angeles during the 1940s and 1950s.
Deadline reports that Fleischer is currently in negotiations to helm the project, which is "one of the hotter scripts in the studio's arsenal." Written by former LAPD cop Will Beall (author of the novel 'L.A. Rex') and based on a series of LA Times articles by Paul Lieberman, the film sounds similar to classic cop films like 'L.A. Confidential' and 'The Untouchables' but appears to have an air of authenticity that those stylized (albeit, amazing) neo noirs lacked.
The cinematic potential of 'Gangster Squad' is huge. Lieberman's articles tell a sprawling, epic story that operates in a morally gray world, following a team of police officers who "didn't exist" on record and fought crime by any means possible, even if it meant breaking the law themselves. If you want a taste of what may be coming with 'Gangster Squad,' check out the first part of the eight-part series by clicking here.
With only one feature under his belt, it's impossible to say what this film would look like under Fleischer's direction, but considering that he beat out big names like Ben Affleck and Darren Aronofsky for the gig, the studio must see him as someone worth investing in. No matter the director, 'Gangster Squad' sounds like a movie worth keeping an eye on -- the man behind 'Zombieland' is just icing on the cake.