By Simon Dang | The Playlist March 9, 2012 at 10:38AM
The story of the L.A.P.D. and Mickey Cohen will be the center of Ruben Flesicher's noir-pic "The Gangster Squad" later this year but there's another major production which is using the events as its story: Frank Darabont's teaming with TNT for "L.A. Noir."
The "fast-paced crime drama" already has "The Walking Dead" star Jon Bernthal and former "Heroes" star Milo Ventimiglia as a cop/lawyer pair of buddies from WWII on opposite sides of the war but the show has now added character actor Neal McDonough who'll play police chief William Parker (a role portrayed in 'Gangster Squad' by Nick Nolte). Darabont adapted John Buntin's non-fiction novel "L.A. Noir: The Struggle For The Soul Of America's Most Seductive City" and will direct the pilot episode with Michael De Luca and Elliot Webb producing.
"Sons Of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter has teased the prospect of a prequel show once the current series concludes. Speaking at the PaleyFest, Sutter revealed that, while he's signed up for at least six seasons, he has explored the "notion of wanting to explore the first nine [members of the motorcycle gang]. I see it as a different show – not a continuation or another version of 'Sons of Anarchy' but a more political and socially historical sort of show. I definitely have some interest in doing it. I’d like to explore it in some capacity."
The show is current at four seasons and has been a major success for FX, passing other former staples such as "The Shield," "Nip/Tuck" and "Rescue Me" as it's highest ever rated show. While it hasn't earned the critical acclaim, much to Sutter's frustration, it's brought Charlie Hunnam into the limelight and saved Ron Perlman and Katey Segal from B-movie obscurity and "Futurama" conventions respectively.
Meanwhile, Denise Richards is set for a return to the small screen and, thankfully for all involved, it's not on the reality platform. The actress has joined the Lifetime remake of "Blue Lagoon," itself an 1980 movie starring Brooke Shields and Chris Atkins. Young Aussie thesps Indiana Evans and Brenton Thwaites will star as classmates Emma and Dane, who become marooned on a tropical island with Richards to play a mom who is searching for her daughter. And for the three of you who care, Atkins will make a cameo. [Variety/Deadline/Deadline]