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Ben Affleck contemplating L.A. “Gangster Squad” story?

By Sean O’Connell In my review of “The Town,” I mentioned that after seeing Ben Affleck’s vision in both “Gone Baby Gone” and his most recent effort, I’d love to see the fledgling director do a handful of gritty crime thrillers set in and around his beloved Boston. Well, part of that might come true.

Warner Bros. reportedly has offered Affleck the chance to direct “Tales from the Gangster Squad,” the period story about off-duty cops legendary gangster Micky Cohen in the 1940s. But Cohen lorded over Los Angeles, not Beantown, so Affleck would have to shift coasts (and go retro, which he hasn’t done as a director, yet).

Vulture, which broke the story, says Cohen “started out as hired muscle for Al Capone in Chicago, but blossomed as a mogul after being sent to Los Angeles by Murder, Inc. kingpin Meyer Lansky to surveille Bugsy Siegel, who Cohen helped set up the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas and ran it’s sports betting operation.”

The “Gangster Squad” script is credited to former South Central L.A. cop Will Beall, who based his research on a series of articles by L.A. Times reporter Paul Lieberman. While the story seems to be in Affleck’s wheelhouse, it’s only one of a number of options on his plate. (No surprise, given the critical and – to date – commercial success of “The Town.”)

Vulture adds that in addition to “Gangster Squad,” Affleck is contemplating a television pilot for Showtime titled “Homeland,” and a potential reunion project with Matt Damon.

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