Fans of the video game L.A. Noire may have initially assumed that Darabont was either adapting the game or treading into its creative territory. And it turns out, it wasn’t just the fans making that assumption.
A new interview with Darabont on io9 reveals that the makers of L.A. Noire — either the developer, Team Bondi or the publisher, Rockstar Games — threatened to sue if TNT went forward with Darabont’s new TV project using that name... even though Darabont’s show is based on a book with the same title.
“It was going to be called ‘L.A. Noir,’ based on the book by John Buntin,” explained Darabont. “But the video game company with the video game called L.A. Noire (with an e!) threatened to sue the s*** out of me, TNT, every company that actually ever worked in Hollywood. And they have the billions of dollars to back it up, apparently.”
“So we're changing the title,” continued Darabont. “And I do believe the title is going to be ‘Lost Angels.’ This is being announced right here. It's a very, very cool show. It's [set in] 1947 LA and it stars my very dear friend Jon Bernthal, whom I worked with on ‘The Walking Dead.’”
Back in October, TNT officially ordered a six episode first season of the series now likely to be called “Lost Angels.” In addition to Bernthal, the cast includes Alexa Davalos (The Chronicles of Riddick), Jeffrey DeMunn (“The Walking Dead”), Milo Ventimiglia (“Heroes”), Neal McDonough (“Justified”) and Ron Rifkin (“Alias”). The pilot episode will also feature Simon Pegg in a guest starring role.
“[Pegg] plays a stand up comic in 1947,” related Darabont. “It's not a funny role. It's a serious role. He's laying down a dramatic performance in a flawless, American dialect of the era... People who are Simon Pegg fans will be blown away by what he has done in this. I am his friend, and I've always known he's a very good dramatic actor and I expected great things from him, even my expectations were knocked on my ass by how good he is. So, you have that to look forward to.”
TNT has yet to set a debut date for Darabont’s new series, but it may come as early as this summer.