Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn Maybe Facing Off for 'Gangster Squad'
Back in October there were many directors being considered to helm Warner Bros. period crime drama Tales from the Gangster Squad until Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer landed the gig. Now the project, simply called Gangster Squad, is rounding up a cast as Deadline reports offers have just been sent to Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling for roles that will put them head-to-head in the story an off-the-books LAPD squad of mercenary cops who chased infamous gangster Micky Cohen out of town back in the 40's. Penn is up for the role of the infamous Los Angeles mobster while Gosling could play one of two cops trying to bring him down.
Deadline describes Cohen as a charismatic figure who caroused around town with a gorgeous girl on his arm, and often with his attractive etiquette coach at his side. 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). Honestly, it sounds like an amazing role for Penn, and recalling how tough and intimidating he was in Mystic River (a performance which garnered him an Oscar for Best Actor), he's absolutely perfect for it. Seeing him face-off against Gosling only sweetens the deal from my perspective. What do you think?