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Ruben Fleischer Discusses Action-Heavy ‘Gangster Squad’; Sullivan Stapleton In Talks To Join

Written by on August 15, 2011 

Anybody who sees 30 Minutes or Less during its theatrical run will probably be surprised to know that the film’s director, Ruben Fleischer, will be doing a period piece centered on gangsters next. Not only is he doing new material, but it’s also his biggest, most prestigious cast so far, being comprised of Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Michael Peña, Giovanni Ribisi, Mireille Enos, Holt McCallany, Robert Patrick, and Frank Grillo.

Talking to Collider, he revealed some new information on what we can expect from the film. Fleischer calls it a “huge, huge opportunity” that he wants to take in order to “deliver what will hopefully be an iconic gangster movie.” When he was asked about “the feel and tone” of it, he said the following:

“It’s set in 1949 Los Angeles. So it’s a period gangster movie and it’s got those classic, beautiful 1940’s cars and tommy guns and those classic gangster tropes. But I think part of the reason I got the job was because of the action in Zombieland. There is quite a bit of action in gangster squad so I think it will be really fun to find a balance between these classic gangster movies and, you know, whatever my approach to the action in the film will be.”

There was the question of humor coming into play, since his first two features — in spite of containing action — were purely comedies. While it’s not “without comedy,” such as how he finds Jack Nicholson in Chinatown to be funny, he “would never call that a comedy.” His statements make perfect sense; look at something like L.A. Confidential, which is also filled with humorous elements, partially due to the climate of late 40’s Los Angeles having a ton of unbelievable stories behind it.

I’m honestly pretty confident in Fleischer here, as the action that he’s done thus far in his career is impressive enough where I know that he can deliver in that department. The big question is how he’ll handle the dramatic elements, which is something that he hasn’t worked with to that great of a degree in his career. Regardless of that curiosity, I can’t wait for Gangster Squad, and it already looks like one of the most exciting movies of 2012.

One other actor who might be lucky enough to join the film is Sullivan Stapleton, the Animal Kingdom actor and star of the Cinemax series Strike Back. THR tells us that the part he’s in talks for is “a childhood friend of Gosling’s dapper cop, a man who grew up to become a mob enforcer but later acts as a police informant.” The casting for the movie has been excellent up to this point in time, so I trust this choice well enough. And, hey, even if he were to stink, everyone else around him should help compensate.

Gangster Squad opens in late 2012.

Do Fleischer’s comments make you any more excited for Gangster Squad? How do you feel about Stapleton joining the cast?

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