White Jazz director Carnahan talks about dueling Ellroy projects.

Our pal J. Kingston Pierce talked yesterday on the Rap Sheet about a couple of film projects, based on the work of James Ellroy, that might be butting heads.

In my Eye On Hollywood column in Crimespree magazine, I talked about Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin’ Ace) adaptation of Ellroy’s White Jazz that stars Oscar-winner George Clooney (Out of Sight, Syrianna).

Now word is coming out that Regency Enterprises, which produced L.A. Confidential and has rights for a sequel, is looking to bring Russell Crowe (A Brilliant Mind, Gladiator) and Guy Pierce (Memento, Factory Girl) back, along with director Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, In Her Shoes) as well as screenwriter Brian Helgeland (Mystic River, Blood Work), back for a direct sequel to the Ellroy based hit.

White Jazz director Joe Carnahan has addressed this on his website.

03/01/2007 at 08:06 AM
By now you may have read in the trades that there’s some activity on the Ellroy front vis-a-vis a proposed ‘LA CONFIDENTIAL 2’ that would star both Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce. I had heard about thisa few months back as we had just closed our deal for WHITE JAZZ. Ellroy and I actually spoke about it because they had asked him backinto the loop to work on that script. As far as I know, they are pushing ahead and have asked us to change the Exley character’s name in WHITE JAZZ as New Regency apparently has the right.

Those familiar with the book also know that ‘The Dud’ Dudley Smith is also featured prominently in it. We took the original LA CONFIDENTIAL into account when writing WHITE JAZZ so we opted to remove him from the story.Now that Exley looks like he’s out, it will really eliminate any incidental characters from WHITE JAZZ and allow it to be a stand alone and not dependant on the prior characters.

WHITE JAZZ is still the last book in the quartet and while I wish everyone well on LA CONFIDENTIAL 2, I hope they bring some heavy sh*t to the table becausemy younger brother Matt wrote an absolute knockdown, drag-out version of WHITE JAZZ. I’m not throwing down any type of gauntlet here. I have the utmost respect for Hanson and Helgeland. The original is fantastic.

Stylistically, they will be WILDLY divergent, that I can promise. Clooney as Dave Klein is going to rock a 1958 LA that you have never and will never, see again.


Maybe we will get lucky and get two good crime movies out of it all.