It’s almost comical to think that, five or six years ago, Warner Bros. and DC were thinking of making a cheap-ish Justice League film. Sure, it might have been directed by George “Mad Max” Miller, and was set to feature some good actors, such as a then-unknown Armie Hammer as Bruce Wayne and Batman. But it would have been an all-new continuity for the characters, with Hammer’s Batman being a take on the character parallel to Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale’s.

The writer’s strike in 2007 stalled the film, and changing tax breaks in Australia killed it. And despite comments to suggest that it would happen eventually, Justice League has been dormant ever since.

Or has it? The Avengers is so big — one of the biggest earners ever — that naturally Warner Bros. wants their own version. And so Justice League lives again, and Warner Bros. has set Gangster Squad screenwriter Will Beall to write a film that will bring together DC’s biggest heroes. Read More »

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Anthony Mackie Joins ‘Gangster Squad’

Briefly: Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is just not messing around when it comes to the cast of his new film, Gangster Squad. The film, scripted by LA cop Will Beall and formerly reffered to as Tales From the Gangster Squad, is based on a series of articles in the LA Times that recounted efforts of a ’40s LAPD squad to curtail the influx of organized crime in Los Angeles.

Sean Penn (as Mickey Cohen), Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Michael Peña were already in the cast and now Anthony Mackie has joined, too. He’s been rumored for this one (and for World War Z), but now he’s locked Gangster Squad. He’ll play Rocky Washington, ex-cop and the first black lieutenant in the LAPD, who is ultimately recruited to work as part of the gangster squad. Just when conventional wisdom says that a major studio will never fund an adult-oriented film like this, we get a period piece, with this cast. Cross your fingers that it works better than Public Enemies… [Variety]

When the job of directing Tales From The Gangster Squad was being rejected by some very prominent names, it didn’t inspire much confidence in the material. That’s now totally changed. Last month, Warner Bros. reportedly had offers out to both Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling to star in the film and now they’re both currently in talks. Also in talks is Josh Brolin. He’d play a cop who, alongside Gosling, tries to bring down 1940s Los Angeles mob boss Mickey Cohen, Penn’s role. Based on a series of articles by Paul Lieberman, the film – which now is going by the shorter, simpler title Gangster Squad – was written by former Los Angeles police officer Will Beall and will be directed by Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less helmer Ruben Fleischer. Read more after the break. Read More »

It was reported a few weeks back that Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov was set to produce John Scott 3‘s teen zombie spec script Maggie, with title sequence designer Henry Hobson directing. Apparently, that’s not quite the case. Bekmambetov never actually closed the deal, and Maggie is now back on the market.

Several bidders were interested when the spec was originally auctioned off, and multiple parties are said to be circling the project already, so it’s likely that a new producer will be picking up Maggie shorty. With its $5 million budget and trendy zombie subject, it’s got to be looking pretty good to potential producers.

Maggie isn’t exactly your typical zombie film, though. The story revolves around a 16-year-old girl from middle America who becomes infected by a zombie. In this universe, however, it takes six weeks for a zombie victim to fully transform. The movie deals with Maggie’s relationship with her family as she undergoes this horrific process. Granted, some shorter version of this story takes place in just about any zombie movie, but the slight shift in focus means it could have quite a different feel from most of the other zombie fare out there. [Deadline]

After the jump, Paramount acquires L.A. Rex for distribution.

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Will Beall Writing ‘Logan’s Run’

When Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling became the new guys attached to direct and star in the remake/new adaptation of Logan’s Run we cheered. Given that Mr. Refn had been very clear about his intentions to do a big studio movie, he might have chosen well with this one. The original Logan’s Run is silly and dated, yes, but given that it is about people who flee from a decadent, youth-obsessed culture, there’s a lot of material in the story that makes it relevant today. If the script is in the right hands, that is.

The last draft of Logan’s Run was by Alex Garland, but we figured that the script would undergo some work before shooting. And now Will Beall, the screenwriter who wrote Tales From the Gangster Squad, which Warner Bros. is very high on right now, is in negotiations to script. Read More »

For the past year Warner Bros. has been moving forward with development of Tales From the Gangster Squad, a movie based on LA Times reports about attempts to curtail the movement of organized crime into LA in the ’40s. A litany of possible directors was considered last year, including Ben Affleck, Paul Greengrass, Darren Aronofsky and more. Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) finally got the job, and WB has now greenlit the film and casting is in progress. Read More »

There’s a bunch of potential new remake news from Warner Bros. today, most of which is either silly or plain idiotic. This is one of the silly ones: the studio has moved from the idea of making Lethal Weapon 5 (which Shane Black has already outlined) to rebooting the series entirely. Tales From the Gangster Squad writer Will Beall has been hired to write the film based on his pitch for a “hard R-rated edgy street cop movie.” Read More »

Despite the presumption in many corners that Ruben Fleischer‘s next film after 30 Minutes Or Less (which is in post-production now)will be the sequel to Zombieland, that project isn’t yet set in stone. And now Warner Bros. reportedly wants to steal the the director from Sony so he can to jump back into ’40s Los Angeles as director of the fact-based crime film Tales From the Gangster Squad. Read More »

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