After being forced out of AMC’s The Walking Dead over creative issues, writer/director Frank Darabont assured fans that he wouldn’t be absent from television for long. The man spoke truth, as today TNT has announced that they’ve ordered a pilot for a drama series called L.A. Noir that Darabont will write, direct, and executive produce. The project is based on the book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City which focuses on the struggle between Los Angeles police chief William Parker and mobster Mickey Cohen. Darabont described the project thusly:
“The goal is to deliver on the tone that the title L.A. Noir promises: a smart, gritty, authentic, period noir drama.”
Hit the jump for much more.
Interestingly, the 1940s battle between Parker and Cohen is also the focus of Ruben Fleischer’s upcoming drama Gangster Squad, starring Sean Penn as Cohen. Nevertheless, L.A. Noir seems like a highly intriguing and wildly entertaining television project. Darabont will be joined by Michael De Luca (The Social Network) Elliot Webb (Tall Time Tales) as executive producers, with Alissa Phillips (Moneyball) serving as co-executive producer. Darabont spoke about the allure of a noir project:
“Noir is a passion of mine, so I feel blessed to delve into a project that speaks in the hardboiled vernacular. John Buntin’s superb book, though non-fiction, is our touchstone and inspiration for the stories we’ll be telling, weaving fiction throughout the facts and facts throughout the fiction. The book provides elements that are irresistible, a big canvas with endless possibilities.”
While there were parts of season one of The Walking Dead that I loved, there were also parts that were extremely frustrating. If Darabont can fine-tune his television storytelling capabilities, I think L.A. Noir could be a fantastic series. Hopefully he’s got some interesting casting choices up his sleeve as well. Obviously TNT has to approve the pilot before the show goes to series, but the behind-the-scenes creative talent is pretty stacked so I’m thinking they’re pretty safe. Here’s the full press release.
TNT has ordered a pilot for L.A. Noir, a new drama series from executive producers Frank Darabont (The Walking Dead, The Shawshank Redemption), Michael De Luca (The Social Network, Moneyball) and Elliot Webb (Tall Time Tales). The project from TNT Original Productions is based on John Buntin’s critically acclaimed book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, which chronicles the epic battle between Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker and mobster Mickey Cohen. Alissa Phillips (Moneyball) of Michael De Luca Productions serves as co-executive producer. Darabont is set to write and direct the pilot.
“The story of L.A. Noir is inspired by an incredibly dramatic period in the history of Los Angeles,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “This project is a sweeping tale of the battle for the soul of the city that was waged between the forces of the LAPD and the West Coast mob. We’re thrilled to be working with Frank Darabont and Michael De Luca, two award-winning storytellers behind some of the most entertaining films of the past two decades, as they to bring this intense and exciting crime-drama to TNT.”
“Noir is a passion of mine, so I feel blessed to delve into a project that speaks in the hardboiled vernacular,” said Darabont. “John Buntin’s superb book, though non-fiction, is our touchstone and inspiration for the stories we’ll be telling, weaving fiction throughout the facts and facts throughout the fiction. The book provides elements that are irresistible, a big canvas with endless possibilities. The goal is to deliver on the tone that the title L.A. Noir promises: a smart, gritty, authentic, period noir drama. Also a blessing is the warm welcome we’ve gotten from Michael Wright and TNT, a great bunch of folks with huge enthusiasm for the source material. The best bonus of all is getting to work with my friend Mike De Luca. He’s terrific, a tremendously smart and talented producer, a gem. Partnering with him on this marvelous project after knowing him for so many years is an absolute treat for me.”
“It has been a personal dream of mine to work with Frank Darabont since he was kind of enough to become my friend when we met in the late 1980s,” said De Luca. “He’s been an inspiration to me ever since. There is no one working at his level today who puts more integrity and humanity into their efforts to create lasting and original entertainment. This rich source material is a perfect fit for his talents, and we’re grateful to Michael Wright and TNT for this amazing opportunity.”
L.A. Noir is the true story of a decades-long conflict between the Los Angeles Police Department, under the determined leadership of Police Chief William Parker, and ruthless criminal elements led by Mickey Cohen, a one-time boxer who rose to the top of L.A.’s criminal world. The series is a fast-paced crime drama set in Los Angeles during the 1940s and ’50s. It’s a world of glamorous movie stars, powerful studio heads, returning war heroes, a powerful and corrupt police force and an even more dangerous criminal network determined to make L.A. its West Coast base.
Darabont’s extraordinary career includes three Oscar nominations – one for writing the sleeper hit The Shawshank Redemption and two for writing and producing The Green Mile. Darabont also has the distinction of being one of only six directors in the history of the Oscars to have his first two movies each receive Best Picture nominations. He recently earned his third Directors Guild of America Award nomination for directing the pilot of the series The Walking Dead, for which he also served as executive producer.
De Luca’s extensive big-screen credits as executive producer include such high-profile films as Boogie Nights, Wag the Dog, Dark City, Pleasantville, American History X, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Magnolia and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. As a producer, he earned an Oscar nomination for The Social Network and produced the acclaimed 2011 film Moneyball