Deadline reports that Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling are being courted for the lead roles in Gangster Squad—previously known as Tales From The Gangster Squad—the much buzzed-about period drama about 1940s mobsters who look like they could use a nap and a hot shower. Ha ha, we have fun here. No, Penn would actually be playing notorious Los Angeles gangster Mickey Cohen while Gosling would play a member of an elite squad of cops determined to bring him down, elitely. Unlike the similar-sounding L.A. Confidential, James Ellroy’s fictionalized tale that took place during those early-1950s years that Cohen spent in prison, Gangster Squad is entirely fact-based, with a script from former L.A. cop turned novelist William Beall and an origin in a series of L.A. Times news articles by Paul Liebermann. However, it’s likely to have its own fair amount of stylization with Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer at the helm, who took over the project after the studio offered it to just about everyone from Ben Affleck to Darren Aronofsky to Paul Greengrass. Nothing’s definite yet, but it could be a fun role for Sean Penn to really go crazy with after spending much of the past decade (Milk aside) taking on films that require him to mostly look vaguely dyspeptic or cry a lot.
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