Frank Darabont, writer-director of “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile,” as well as AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (from which he got fired), is putting together another TV series (and one that will compete with AMC, no less). John Bunton’s “L.A. Noir: The Struggle For The Soul Of America’s Most Seductive City,” is the inspiration for the series, for which he’ll write and direct the pilot for TNT. The show will be set in the 1940s and 50s, and will follow the clash between corrupt law enforcement and mobster Mickey Cohen’s gang.
TNT calls it “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,” while Darabont calls noir a personal passion; he feels blessed “to delve into a project that speaks in the hardboiled vernacular.” The plan is to mix fact and fiction, while delivering “smart, gritty, authentic, period noir drama.” Bring it on! Michael De Luca (“Moneyball,” “The Social Network”) will produce with Elliot Webb. [ThePlaylist/Deadline]
– In October 2010 we reported that a “Goodfellas” TV prequel was in the works. AMC is now developing the series with Jorge Zamacona (“Homicide: Life On The Streets”) on board to write with Nicolas Pileggi (he wrote “Wise Guy,” Martin Scorsese adapted it into “Goodfellas”). Scorsese was attached when the project was at HBO, but it looks like he’s no longer on board. The series does have the original film’s producer, Irwin Winkler, and his son David, on board to exec produce. Warner’s Horizon Television is producing.
In 2010, Pileggi told Culture magazine: “I want to do it, Marty wants to do it, Warner Bros. wants to do it. Of course, you can’t pick up from Goodfellas, since we murdered everybody, or rather, everybody was murdered! There’s nobody left…But I think we’re going to figure out a way to do the early years – sort of a prequel.” Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and his time in witness protection will likely be the focus.