Oscar-winning screenwriter Brian Helgeland says his L.A. Confidential sequel pitch caused a Netflix executive to fall asleep.
L.A. Confidential sits proudly on countless Top 10 lists, with film buffs often celebrating the crime drama’s clever script, outstanding performances, and classic approach to mystery. Hollywood should be eager to green-light an L.A. Confidential sequel pitch, right? Well, a new report from Deadline says L.A. Confidential writer Brian Helgeland and original author James Ellroy presented a follow-up to the 2017 hit, and no one was interested.
“James Ellroy and I worked out an elaborate pitch for L.A. Confidential 2 that takes place during the Patty Hearst (era), when the Symbionese Liberation Army came down to L.A., and we had Guy Pearce attached and Russell (Crowe) and Chadwick Boseman playing a young cop working for Mayor Bradley,” Helgeland told Deadline.
“We pitched it to everyone,” Helgeland explained. “We had to go to Warner Bros first and Warner Bros is like we don’t make movies like this.”
If that’s not enough of a sting after pouring your time and energy into what feels like a slam dunk project, Helgeland says an executive at Netflix fell asleep during the pitch!
“They fell asleep and nodded off during the pitch,” Helgeland admitted. Feeling dejected, Helgeland returned home that day and said, “We can’t do that anymore.”
Not to be defeated, Helgeland is making the scene at the Toronto International Film Festival to promote the premiere of the Paramount+ crime thriller Finestkind. JoBlo’s Chris Bumbray reviewed the project, saying it’s “a slick, well-made drama with a little edge and a lot of heart. It feels like the kind of movie they used to make back in the’ 80s/90s/2000s, and if you miss those days, like I do, you’ll find this well worth your time.”
Bumbray adds, “Even though nothing terribly surprising happens over the two-hour running time, it can’t be denied that Finestkind is entertaining and somewhat refreshing in its non-cynical take on classic themes like brotherhood and the love between a father and his son. Some folks at the TIFF press screening giggled when Helgeland laid on the cliches a little thick, but there was also a hearty round of applause when the credits rolled for this Paramount Plus-bound drama.”
What do you think went wrong during Helgeland’s L.A. Confidential sequel pitch? Are the themes too archaic to appeal to modern audiences? Let us know if you feel the pitch sounds like something you’d enjoy in the comments below.