Frank Darabont has secured his first potential television project a little over half a year from being ousted as showrunner of AMC’s hit drama The Walking Dead.
TNT has enlisted Darabont to executive produce, write and direct a pilot for L.A. Noir. The pilot is based on the John Buntin novel L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City that chronicles the war between mobster Mickey Cohen and Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker.
Darabont stressed in the announcement that his pilot will be loosely based on the book and not necessarily adhere to its narrative structure. The book will serve as a “touchstone and inspiration” for the series, one that Darabont aims to make into “a smart, gritty, authentic, period noir drama.”
Darabont, whose credits include The Shawshank Redemption, saw his stock rise when The Walking Dead became AMC’s biggest hit following a short six-episode first season. He left the show during production of season two ahead of that season’s premiere in what has been described as a cost-cutting and creative indifference measure. Glen Mazzara took over showrunning duties.
Joining Darabont on L.A. Noir are executive producers Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Elliot Webb (Tall Time Tales). The L.A. Noir pilot could hit the small screen as early as 2013, assuming TNT picks it up – which given The Walking Dead’s success – they should.