Ben Affleck May Be Directing 'Tales from the Gangster Squad'
Taking a leap from his struggling acting career to a seat in the director's chair was probably the best move Ben Affleck has made. His work on the crime thriller The Town may have even gotten him back in the acting game with reasonable praise. Now it looks like Affleck could make the move from robbers to cops as Vulture reports Warner Bros. (still quite pleased with the success of The Town) has offered him the chance to direct the recently revived Tales from the Gangster Squad. The story follows an LAPD off-the-books squad of mercenary cops who tried to chase infamous gangster Micky Cohen out of town back in the 1940's.
Starting out as a muscle for Al Capone, Cohen ended up in Los Angeles where he ran several business, presumably as fronts to launder money, including floral shops, paint stores, nightclubs, casinos, gas stations, a haberdashery, and an ice cream parlor. Though the gangster was responsible for many deaths and crimes, he ended up getting busted for tax evasion in 1950 and serving four years in federal prison. The detailed story of his pursuit and other gangster squad exploits were chronicled in a series of LA Times articles from Paul Lieberman which has been adapted for the big screen by former South Central police officer turned novelist Will Beall (whose novel L.A. Rex has already been optioned for a movie).
However, WB has only offered this job to Affleck and there's no guarantee he'll accept. Vulture says Affleck has expressed interest in directing the pilot for "Homeland," a potential new series on Showtime from "24" producer Howard Gordon about a sleeper cell and an ex-CIA operative. In addition, he's apparently considering a "two-hander" at WB which could involve his longtime collaborator and best friend Matt Damon. Hopefully he'll make his decision soon. We'll keep you posted.