REFLECTING ON THE 2015 CILIP CONFERENCE
Written by Martin Mullin, Head of UK Acquisitions. CILIP is the Chartered […]
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The real events behind the highly-anticipated film starring Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling--A secret police force wages an all-out street war to drive gangs from Los Angeles after WWII
Award-winning journalist Paul Lieberman's 7-part 2008 Los Angeles Times newspaper series on the Squad was optioned by Warner Bros. for feature film. The $60 million production is scheduled for US release on Oct. 19, 2012, backed by $50 Million in marketing, and it has already been scheduled for release in 7 foreign countries. An Executive Producer of the film, Lieberman worked for 24 years as an editor and writer for the L.A. Times and before that with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For the L.A. Times series, he spent more than a decade tracking down surviving members of the secretive LAPD squad that battled Mickey Cohen and other hoodlums in 1950s L.A. He interviewed 150 people in all, including Cohen's associates, and assembled thousands of pages of documents, including grand jury transcripts, voluminous crime reports, old family letters and photos, and an LAPD study of every mob killing in the city from 1900 to 1951.
Lieberman's book tells the story of two cops, O'Mara and Wooters, both of whom became obsessed with the Squad's priority target, the showboating Mickey Cohen. One set a trap for Mickey using his own guns, while the other formed an alliance with Mickey's fearless rival, Jack "The Enforcer" Whalen. Both of their crusades then came to a head on the same night in the last days of the 1950s. The film is already generating buzz, but more importantly, there is a huge audience of true crime as well as noir-era L.A. fans who are already excited to read the true, in-depth story of the Squad--after the newspaper series ran, Lieberman heard from thousands of readers asking "When can I get the book?" With the Warner Brothers PR machine generating tremendous anticipation for the movie, this audience will create tremendous demand for this harrowing, edge-of-your-seat narrative of murder and secrets, revenge and heroism in the City of Angels.
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