In an interview with The Ringer, screenwriter Brian Helgeland revealed that the potential sequel would have reunited stars Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce. Taking place in the mid-’70s, Chadwick Boseman would also enter the picture as a young police officer. Helgeland developed the new story with “L.A. Confidential” novelist James Ellroy and pitched a sequel to Warner Bros., but the company ultimately turned it down.
“We worked the whole thing out,” Helgeland told The Ringer. “It was great. And Warners passed.”
Helgeland co-wrote the original film with director Curtis Hanson, which follows three detectives with different styles trying to uncover a series of murders in the 1950s. The film went on to gross $126 million at the worldwide box office on a $35 million production budget, becoming a commercial success for Warner Bros.
“The studio’s veto made for a downbeat, think-what-coulda-been ending — much like the conclusion of L.A. Confidential itself,” The Ringer writes. “But the rejection is especially surprising when you consider that, 24 years ago, ‘L.A. Confidential’ was one of the most beloved entries in a genre beloved by executives and audiences alike: the neo-noir.”
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Boseman died on Aug. 28, 2020, after a four-year battle with colon cancer. The actor kept his diagnosis private and worked through his treatment for much of his career, including his work on “Black Panther.” Boseman received two posthumous acting nominations from the Academy for his performances in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods.” His voice work as T’Challa in Marvel’s “What If?” animated series next month will mark his final performance.