The best neo-noir of the 90s never got the sequel it deserved.
Film fans everywhere know the movie L.A. Confidential. It seemed to come out of nowhere in the 90s. It was a throwback movie about the beauty and underbelly of Hollywood, adapted from the stellar James Ellroy novel of the same name. The film was directed by Curtis Hanson and written by Brian Helgeland. The movie was a major critical and commercial success, grossing $126 million against a $35 million budget.
Everyone was talking about the twisty story with incredible performances by Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, Russell Crowe, and Danny DeVito. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but only won two: Best Supporting Actress (Basinger) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Titanic won all the rest.
The film's writer, Helgeland, recently did an interview with The Ringer, where he talked about the sequel we never got to see.
According to The Ringer, “A few years ago, the Oscar-winning filmmaker Brian Helgeland went to Warner Bros. with what seemed like a dynamite movie pitch: a sequel to L.A. Confidential, the 1997 Hollywood cop drama he cowrote with director Curtis Hanson. Helgeland had already secured a top-tier cast, including returning Confidential costars Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, alongside Chadwick Boseman, who’d be playing a young police officer. He’d developed a new story with L.A. Confidential novelist James Ellroy, one that would be set in the mid-’70s.”
Without explanation, Helgeland said Warner Bros. passed on the project, and that was that.
This could have been a dynamite film. Obviously, we would have loved to see more of Boseman, who would have been so much fun in this world and with this amazing writing. A movie like this really could have reignited the genre back up as well and changed the course of Hollywood.
But we also know that sequels are really hard to nail, and a mishandled entry in this universe could have lessened the impact of the beloved original. Alas, we'll never know.
Do you wish we could have seen this movie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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