Bryan Cranston in talks for “Gangster Squad”

By Sean O’Connell Bryan Cranston’s on a hot streak. His critically acclaimed “Breaking Bad” is returning to AMC. He’s got a side part as Julia Roberts’ husband in Tom Hanks’ “Larry Crowne,” which opens on July 1. And he’s about to join what sounds like a fantastic ensemble for a period crime thriller.

Cranston is negotiating to star in Ruben Fleischer’s “Gangster Squad,” which already has cast Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie and Michael Peña, according to Variety.

The film is ripped from the headlines of decades-old newspapers regarding a band of “off the record” police offers who were tasked with bringing down crime boss Meyer Harris “Mickey” Cohen in the 1949s.

Variety reports that Cranston would play Max Kennard, a “laconic LAPD officer from Texas who enforces the law ambitiously.”

“The Gangster Squad” is eyeing a 2013 release date.

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