While Thomas Jane is best known for — and usually relegated to — roles that play on his physique and his overt whiff of testosterone, he's somewhat underrated. As anyone who watched HBO's excellent, funny and sadly cancelled "Hung" knows, Jane's man-meat persona was put to good use playing a gigolo in economically-ravaged Detroit, trying to make ends meet for his ex-wife and kids. He was great in the role, showing both the raw sexuality he can project and a tender, softer side as well. All this to say the dude has more range than you might expect, but then again, if you just want him to knock some heads, he can do that too.
And we presume that's what Frank Darabont is looking for, as he's lining up the actor to play famed gangster Bugsy Siegel in his brewing "L.A. Noir." After his somewhat controversial exit from "The Walking Dead" last summer, Darabont has forged ahead with his new show on TNT. Already set to feature ex-'Dead' Jon Bernthal, Neal McDonough, Milo Ventimiglia and a guest appearance by Simon Pegg, the show is based on the book by John Buntin and will center on an ex-Marine-turned-L.A.P.D.-cop (Bernthal) who finds himself in the middle of the war between Captain William Parker (McDonough) and infamous gangster Mickey Cohen.
Now, Jane's participation comes with caveat — he'll only be appearing if the show gets picked up as a series. But unless the pilot is some kind of unmitigated disaster, we presume that will be the case. A decision will be along shortly — the pilot wrapped up production over the weekend — and we'll soon see if this tale will make it to our cable box. We hope so, because the potential is there for a pretty crackling series. Fingers crossed. [THR]