By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 30, 2011 at 7:20AM
There is no doubt that "Tales From The Gangster Squad" is very, very high on the priority list at Warner Bros. With names like Darren Aronofsky, Paul Greengrass, Francis Lawrence, Martin Campbell, Greg Berlanti, Scott Cooper and Jose Padilha all being tossed around at various points to direct the film, "Zombieland" helmer Ruben Fleischer landed the gig late last year. But WB isn't done yet trying to lure top talent to their crimeland pic.
Deadline reports that offers are out to Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling to star in 'Gangster Squad.' The film is based on a series of articles in the L.A. Times by Paul Lieberman and was picked up soon after it’s publication in 2008 by Warner Bros. who, in turn, hired former L.A. cop turned novelist Will Beall to adapt. The major focus of Lieberman’s article was a specialized L.A.P.D. unit set up in the ‘40s to fight the growing influence of the East Coast Mafia, namely that from infamous gangster Mickey Cohen, a mogul who started as muscle for Al Capone in Chicago. Penn is being eyed for the role of Cohen with Gosling as one of two cops determined to bring him down. Penn vs. Gosling: fuck yeah. But keep in mind, these are just offers for now.
The film now has a greenlight over at WB and it's clear they want big names in the central roles. Gosling is the new golden boy over at WB; he and Nicolas Winding Refn recently signed on for the "Logan's Run" remake (amazing). But he also can't forget his "Blue Valentine" bud Derek Cianfrance, as they are looking to get the epic fathers and guns tale "The Place Beyond The Pines" this summer. As for Penn, he's largely dedicated to his humanitarian work and is pretty selective about film roles to begin with, so he might be harder to pin down. All that said, we love the direction the casting is headed so far.