Oops! 'Gangster Squad' Book With Movie Cover Hits Shelves
A version of this story originally appeared in the Rambling Reporter column of the Aug. 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
In response to the Colorado shooting tragedy, Warner Bros. pushed the release date for its period noir Gangster Squad from Sept. 7 to Jan. 11, in part to reshoot a scene in which Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is dramatically shot up with Tommy guns. But it was too late for the studio to ask St. Martin’s Press to pull from publication the same-titled nonfiction book on which the historical saga is based. It’s still due out Aug. 7.
"We had already shipped,” says a rep for the publisher, who notes that the offending scene, which is purely fictional, is not in journalist Paul Lieberman’s chronicle of a secret LAPD unit bent on bringing down mob boss Mickey Cohen (played in the film by Sean Penn).
Gangster Squad: Covert Cops, the Mob, and the Battle for Los Angeles, whose cover features art from the movie, tells the story of the department’s effort in the 1940s and '50s to aggressively fight organized crime by assembling a special internal task force that itself occasionally tested the boundaries of the law. Lieberman’s 560-page narrative is the sum total of more than 150 original interviews, as well as thousands of pages of archival documents, from court transcripts to police reports.
The trailer for the $60 million film -- which also stars Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone -- featured a fragment of the now-cut Grauman’s scene. Although it ran as a preview to The Dark Knight Rises at some theaters, it did not run prior to the July 20 screening at the Century 16 multiplex in Aurora, according to Warner Bros.