'L.A. Confidential' Sequel Starring Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe and Chadwick Boseman Was Rejected by Warner Bros.
L.A. Confidential is one of the best American movies of the 1990s, and it looks like it almost had itself a sequel. Brian Helgeland, who co-wrote the script with director Curtis Hanson, recently revealed that he and L.A. Confidential book author James Ellroy came up with a movie sequel idea and even had a cast lined up, including Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe reprising their roles from the first film, and Chadwick Boseman playing a young cop. In the end, studio Warner Bros. passed on the idea, and I bet they really feel like dopes about that now.
Speaking with The Ringer, L.A. Confidential screenwriter Brian Helgeland dropped some info on the L.A. Confidential sequel that almost was. “A few years ago, the Oscar-winning filmmaker Brian Helgeland went to Warner Bros. with what seemed like a dynamite movie pitch: a sequel to L.A. Confidential, the 1997 Hollywood cop drama he co-wrote with director Curtis Hanson,” The Ringer reports. “Helgeland had already secured a top-tier cast, including returning Confidential costars Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, alongside Chadwick Boseman, who’d be playing a young police officer. He’d developed a new story with L.A. Confidential novelist James Ellroy, one that would be set in the mid-’70s.”
“We worked the whole thing out,” Helgeland said. “It was great. And Warners passed.”
In retrospect, passing on this sounds like a huge mistake. But it probably should’ve sounded like a huge mistake in the past, too. After all, L.A. Confidential was an Oscar-winning hit. Warner Bros. should’ve been jumping at the chance to return to that world with most of the original players involved. But it was not to be, and now we can only wonder how things would’ve turned out.
The L.A. Quartet
It’s worth noting that Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential book is already part of a series – a series called the L.A. Quartet. And it’s not even the first book in that series, either. The first book is The Black Dahlia, and a few of the characters in L.A. Confidential appear within its pages. The Black Dahila was adapted into a film in 2006, and it was unfortunately not very good.
In Ellory’s continuity, L.A. Confidential is followed by a book called White Jazz, which focuses on a crooked cop named Lieutenant Dave Klein. However, Ellroy’s book is set in 1958, which means that the ’70s-set sequel Helgeland wrote is something original and not based on White Jazz. Since Helgeland says he worked with Ellory on the story, it’s likely that Ellory offered up ideas from some of his other books, but it sounds like this was going to be a brand new story that would continue the events of L.A. Confidential. If only we could’ve seen it.
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