From WALKING DEAD to L.A. NOIR: Frank Darabont's New Job
Frank Darabont, who got pushed out of his gig running TV zombie show The Walking Dead last summer, has moved on to the battle between cops and mobsters in 1940s Los Angeles. Darabont will write and produce the pilot for L.A. Noir, according to The Hollywood Reporter, a proposed TV series inspired by a nonfiction book by John Buntin. Darabont will also serve as one of the executive producers.
The series is described as "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," and could track from the 1940s to the 1950s, involving the Los Angeles Police Department, mob boss Mickey Cohen, "movie stars, powerful studio heads, war heroes," and so forth.
It is territory that has been trod before in movies like L.A. Confidential, and even in video games like L.A. Noire. But it will be fresh for Darabont, who will have the chance to put his own stamp on the series. HBO found success in the period crime drama Boardwalk Empire, which has established that an audience is willing to watch crime sagas set in the past.
But Darabont will be required to work within the restrictions of basic cable channel TNT, which has mostly favored light-hearted crime-solving fare, so it'll be interesting to see how far they're willing to let him go, content-wish -- and whether they're truly prepared to bankroll the series. The budget was a divisive issue at AMC with The Walking Dead, so we'll wait to see what happens after the pilot is delivered to TNT.