Chalk up another on the list of Potentially Great Unmade Movies as, leading off an article on The Ringer about the rise of the neo-noir genre in the 1990s is word from Brian Helgeland that he’d come up with a sequel concept for L.A. Confidential, and that Chadwick Boseman (who, of course, worked with the writer/director on 42) had agreed to star before his death.

And that’s not all – Helgeland goes on to say that Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce had both agreed to return to their roles from the original, with a new story developed alongside novelist James Ellroy that would’ve seen the two veterans working with Boseman’s younger officer.

Sadly, there’s no happy ending to this story, beyond the fact of Boseman’s tragic loss. “We worked the whole thing out,” Helgeland tells the site. “It was great. And Warners passed.”

The 1997 original, directed by Curtis Hanson, remains a cinematic classic, which was nominated for nine Oscars and one two, for Kim Basinger as Supporting Actress for her role as Lynn Bracken and another for Helgeland and Hanson’s screenplay adaptation.

Despite the powerhouse combo Helgeland put together, it seems unlikely we’ll ever see this follow-up, and while there’s a solid argument for leaving the original Confidential as a fantastic stand-alone that didn’t require a sequel, in the back of our minds, we can’t help but wonder what if…

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