“The Messenger” Gang Circling James Ellroy Script About Dirty L.A. Cops

Oren Moverman, who made a grand entrance last year with his directorial debut, "The Messenger," could be reuniting with the film's stars, Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson, for a film about the LAPD's notorious Rampart division.

And who better to write the script than LA crime fiction king James Ellroy, whose script for "Rampart" is being eyed by the "Messenger" trio, according to Production Weekly.

The Rampart scandal was an epic mess, with more than 70 officers implicated in a ring of violence, theft and other gang-related activity, that would inspire both Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the hit TV series "The Shield."

It's exactly the kind of dirty-cop shenanigans that Ellroy, the man behind "L.A. Confidential," "American Tabloid" and "The Cold 6000" writes so well. But we shoudln't expect a searing indictment of the LAPD.

"(T)he Rampart scandal, (was) a stick of dynamite with a wet fuse. 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," Ellroy told National Review Online in 2005. "And the entire event blew out of proportion into a media event that most people took to represent large-scale endemic corruption in the LAPD. In reality it wasn't that. Cops are afraid to do their jobs now. There are nuisance suits filed routinely on officers who bruise the pinkies of violent street suspects, and they all have to be dealt with through the civilian complaint process. This wastes time and diverts energy from the real business of police work."

In addition to Ellroy's sympathies is Moverman's own experience as a member of the Israeli Defense Forces, suggesting he may be apt to see things from the uniforms' viewpoint.

Moverman is also working on the Kurt Cobain biopic that gave the world a heart attack last week when rumors that Robert Pattinson was being cast in the lead blazed unchecked across cyberspace for about a day.

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