The untimely death of Chadwick Boseman at age forty-three last year means, among other things, that there might have been many great performances from the actor that we’ll never get to see. One of those is the upcoming sequel to Black Panther, in which Boseman’s role will not be recast. Another lost opportunity, reported back in December, was a planned sequel to L.A. Confidential with Boseman playing a police officer. What’s worse is that the film was all ready to go, but Warner Bros. opted not to make it.
In a recent interview with The Ringer, Brian Helgeland, who won an Oscar with director Curtis Hanson for penning the script to the 1997 film that was based on James Ellroy’s novel of the same, reveals that things were looking good and then Warner Bros. decided not to move ahead. “We worked the whole thing out. It was great. And Warners passed,” he shared. Helgeland did have the chance to work with Boseman directing him as Jackie Robinson in 42, released in 2013.
This Boseman-starring sequel to L.A. Confidential apparently also had Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, who headlined the original film along with Kevin Spacey and Oscar winner Kim Basinger, attached. This is not the first time that an attempt to revive the excitement of the highly-acclaimed neo-noir mystery has been unsuccessful. A TV pilot starring Kiefer Sutherland, Josh Hopkins, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Eric Roberts, and Melissa George was aired in 2003 but ultimately not picked up.
L.A. Confidential was released in the United States on September 19th, 1997 after debuting several months earlier at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning for supporting actress Kim Basinger and its screenplay, and losing Best Picture to another popular film from that year, Titanic.