Ever since director Oren Moverman blipped onto the radar with last year's The Messenger, there has been conjecture about what the director would tackle next. The popular theory has been that he would make a biopic based on the life of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, but his plans may be changing. Moverman's name is now attached to Rampart – a cop drama based on a script written by James Ellroy.
If that wasn't enough to get you excited, then perhaps this news from Production Weekly's Twitter feed will. According to them, Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster are both circling the project. Getting The Messenger team back together to make a new film based on a script by James Ellroy -- can I just get my ticket now, please?
Details are best described as "sketchy" at this early juncture, but what we do know is that the LAPD's Rampart Scandal in the late '90s is the film's inspiration. The story not only documented one of largest cases of police corruption in this country's history, but it also served as the inspiration for the television series The Shield. Ellroy spoke about the incident with National Review Online back in 2005 (courtesy of /Film) and offered up the following, which may give us some insight into what he's concocting: "Rampart is another of these misperceived criminal conspiracies. It's really the story of a handful of rogue, criminal cops who ratted out a wider number of untainted cops to save their own skins."
Those cops were involved in everything from framing innocent civilians to pulling off bank robberies. Rumors have circulated for years that they were also responsible for killing hip-hop artist Notorious B.I.G. in a drive-by shooting after a party in LA.
Ellroy is no stranger to Los Angeles crime stories and crooked cops. Earlier works such as L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia have highlighted not only the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles society but the rampant corruption in the police force back in the '40s and '50s. Seeing him tackle the same thematic elements in a more modern tale is intriguing, particularly given the factual background of the story. Ellroy took a crack at a modern cop tale with 2008's Street Kings, but Rampart seems more suited to his style, which often weaves dramatized stories around real-life events.
The author's collaborations with Hollywood have been hit and miss -- LA Confidential was excellent, The Black Dahlia not so much, for example. That being said, does the idea of Moverman and crew being on board have you excited for this project or would you rather see another of Ellroy's works on the big screen (White Jazz is currently listed as "in development") instead?