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L.A. Confidential screenwriter says Warner Bros. rejected a sequel starring Chadwick Boseman, Russell Crowe, and Guy Pearce

Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce in L.A. Confidential
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

L.A. Confidential screenwriter Brian Helgeland has revealed that he pitched a sequel to the hit crime movie to Warner Bros., which the studio turned down.

The sequel would have starred original cast members Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, along with the late Chadwick Boseman as a young police officer. "We worked the whole thing out. It was great. And Warners passed," Helgeland told The Ringer.

The original movie was released in 1997 and starred Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell, David Strathairn, Kim Basinger, and Danny DeVito alongside Crowe and Pearce. Based on the James Ellroy novel of the same name, it was directed by Curtis Hanson, who also co-wrote the script with Helgeland – they won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The movie was nominated for nine Oscars in total, and Bassinger won the award for Best Supporting Actress.

L.A. Confidential is set in the '50s and follows a group of LAPD officers investigating a series of murders, exploring the intersection of police corruption and Hollywood celebrity. Helgeland said the sequel would have been set in the mid-'70s, and he'd worked with novelist Ellroy to create a new and original story. However, he didn't reveal what that story might have entailed for the characters involved.

This isn't the first time an addition to the LCCU (L.A. Confidential Cinematic Universe) hasn't come to fruition – back in 2012, Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino was set to helm a prequel to the 1997 movie called The Big Nowhere. Author Ellroy attempted to make a TV show in 2018 – a pilot was shot, but the network chose not to take it any further. 

Helgeland has also written the screenplays for movies like the Heath Ledger-led A Knight's Tale (which he also directed), Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, and Ridley Scott's 2010 take on Robin Hood, starring Crowe, Cate Blanchett, and Oscar Isaac. His work on Mystic River earned Helgeland another Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination, as well as nods at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs.

If you've already seen L.A. Confidential, check out our picks of the best Oscar-winning movies to fill out your watch list.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.