THE BIG PICTURE
Brian Helgeland, the creative mind behind the original L.A. Confidential, finds himself caught in a web of rejection as his dream of a sequel to the 1997 classic faces rejection from multiple movie studios, including Warner Bros. The proposed follow-up would have reunited Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce in their iconic roles, with the late Chadwick Boseman joining the stellar cast. Despite the undeniable success and critical acclaim of L.A. Confidential, the sequel project found itself cast aside by various studios, leaving Helgeland disillusioned and hesitant to pursue it any further.
Brian Helgeland, the brilliant mind behind the neo-noir masterpiece L.A. Confidential, has been on a nearly decade-long quest to bring a sequel to life. At one point, he engaged in discussions with Warner Bros. regarding this sequel, a project that was destined to breathe new life into the beloved characters. Sadly, Warner Bros. didn’t share the same enthusiasm, and the entire concept was ultimately shown the exit door. Today, Helgeland opens up about his mounting frustration. He passionately believed in the sequel, envisioning a narrative where Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce would reprise their roles, while introducing the charismatic Chadwick Boseman to the ensemble. However, many studios, including the mighty Warner Bros., chose not to tread this path.
After enduring the bitter sting of having his pitch literally snoozed through, Helgeland decided to tuck away his script, vowing it was the end of the road. The prospect of resurrecting his cherished project seemed too daunting. He shared his sentiments during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, telling Deadline:
“[Author] James Ellroy and I meticulously crafted a pitch for ‘L.A. Confidential 2’ that unfolded against the backdrop of the Patty Hearst era, when the Symbionese Liberation Army made its presence felt in L.A. Our vision included Guy Pearce, Russell [Crowe], and Chadwick Boseman playing a young cop under Mayor Bradley’s watch. We pitched it everywhere… We had to begin with Warner Bros., and their response was that they don’t make movies like this anymore. Ellroy, with his mesmerizing pitch, brought our story to life. Our Netflix executive, however, had other plans during the pitch – they nodded off and dozed away. I returned home, realizing that this journey had reached its conclusion.”
What Made ‘L.A. Confidential’ a Blockbuster?
L.A. Confidential, a neo-noir crime masterpiece, graced the silver screen in 1997 under the skillful direction of Curtis Hanson. It drew inspiration from James Ellroy’s novel of the same name. Set in Los Angeles during the early 1950s, the film weaves a gripping narrative around three vastly different police officers whose paths intertwine in a web of corruption, crime, and scandal. Bud White and Ed Exley, portrayed by Crowe and Pearce, along with Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), stumble upon a labyrinthine conspiracy within the police force and organized crime, deeply rooted within the entertainment industry. The film garnered universal acclaim, securing multiple Academy Award nominations, including a nod for Best Picture, and solidified its status as a neo-noir classic.
While the dream of an L.A. Confidential sequel remains on hold, film enthusiasts can look forward to Helgeland’s latest project, “Finestkind,” starring Jenna Ortega and Tommy Lee Jones. Be sure not to miss our extensive coverage of TIFF 2023 for all the latest updates and insights from the world of cinema.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Pitch Rejection
Q: Why was the sequel to ‘L.A. Confidential’ rejected by multiple studios?
A: The proposed sequel, ‘L.A. Confidential 2,’ faced rejection from multiple studios, including Warner Bros., primarily due to their reluctance to produce films in a similar vein. Studios were not interested in continuing the story, despite the original’s critical acclaim and success.
Q: Who were the key actors considered for the sequel?
A: The sequel would have reunited Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce in their iconic roles from the original ‘L.A. Confidential.’ Additionally, the late Chadwick Boseman was set to join the cast, adding to the star-studded ensemble.
Q: What was the premise of ‘L.A. Confidential 2’?
A: ‘L.A. Confidential 2’ was set to take place during the Patty Hearst era when the Symbionese Liberation Army had an impact on Los Angeles. The storyline involved Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, and Chadwick Boseman in the roles of young cops working under Mayor Bradley’s administration.
Q: What made the original ‘L.A. Confidential’ a success?
A: The original film, released in 1997, was a neo-noir crime masterpiece directed by Curtis Hanson and based on James Ellroy’s novel of the same name. It received critical acclaim for its gripping narrative and was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, solidifying its status as a classic in the neo-noir genre.
Q: Is there any hope for the sequel to ‘L.A. Confidential’ in the future?
A: As of now, there is no indication of the sequel moving forward. The screenwriter, Brian Helgeland, expressed frustration and decided to shelve the project after Netflix executives fell asleep during the pitch. However, the future of the sequel remains uncertain in the ever-evolving world of film production.
More about Pitch Rejection
- L.A. Confidential (1997) – IMDb: Information about the original ‘L.A. Confidential’ film.
- Brian Helgeland – IMDb: Details about the screenwriter, Brian Helgeland.
- Patty Hearst – Wikipedia: Background on the historical Patty Hearst era mentioned in the sequel’s premise.
- Chadwick Boseman – IMDb: Information about the late actor Chadwick Boseman.
- Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF): Where the interview with Brian Helgeland took place.