Former Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont is developing a period drama pilot for TNT based on John Buntin’s acclaimed 2009 book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City.
Set in 1940s and ’50s Los Angeles, L.A. Noir chronicles the battle between former police chief William Parker and mobster Mickey Cohen for control of the city, “a struggle that echoes unforgettably through the fiction of Raymond Chandler and movies like The Big Sleep, Chinatown, and L.A. Confidential.” The network describes the series as a fast-paced crime drama set in “a world of glamorous movie stars, powerful studio heads, returning war heroes, a powerful and corrupt police force and an even more dangerous criminal network determined to make L.A. its West Coast base.”
Darabont will write and direct the pilot as well as executive produce alongside Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Elliot Webb (Tall Time Tales). Alissa Phillips (Moneyball) will serve as co-executive producer.
“Noir is a passion of mine, so I feel blessed to delve into a project that speaks in the hardboiled vernacular,” Darabont said in a statement. “John Buntin’s superb book, though non-fiction, is our touchstone and inspiration for the stories we’ll be telling, weaving fiction throughout the facts and facts throughout the fiction. The book provides elements that are irresistible, a big canvas with endless possibilities. The goal is to deliver on the tone that the title L.A. Noir promises: a smart, gritty, authentic, period noir drama.”
A three-time Oscar nominee for The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, Darabont developed Robert Kirkman’s comic The Walking Dead for AMC, and oversaw the acclaimed series until his unceremonious firing in July.