Ryan Gosling & Sean Penn circling Gangster Squad

Today law enforcement deals with mobsters a lot differently than they did in the 1940s and 1950s, when the LAPD brought together a group of former military men to fight the mobsters who migrated West for the bright lights and palm tress of California. A fictionalized account of this time came together already with L.A Confidential. Warner Brothers, which seems to becoming the studio de jour for crime films, is going after this era with Gangster Squad. It’s an even better sign because two of Hollywood’s better actors are in talks for the lead roles: Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling.

Based off the series of articles written by Paul Lieberman, the film is a fact-based tale of the crime fighting exploits of a squad of elite Los Angeles officers in the 1940s charged with stopping the charismatic but deadly sociopath Mickey Cohen and other mobsters. Penn is being eyed for Cohen, as a formal offer has been made to the two time Oscar winner and Gosling is getting one as well (allegedly).

Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland has been tabbed to direct, as well, so the film has quite the pedigree.

What does it mean? Warner has a great track record with crime films and getting Gosling & Penn on board could mean great things. This has the feel, so far, of being another film like American Gangster in terms of casting. One imagines you don’t bring in two actors like Penn and Gosling if you didn’t think this could be a fall hit or an award winner (or both), especially with a talented young director coming off a hit in Fleischer.

What do you think? Is a gangster film a good move for either actor … or could this be the first great crime film of the next decade?

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Source: Deadline Hollywood