31 year old American actor Anthony Mackie must be, by the virtue of his own talents and regular show stealing performances, be on the cusp of major stardom. I know Paul Greengrass was incredibly excited about him playing Jimi Hendrix in his failed biopic attempt late last year, a role that I imagine would have been his tipping point into a mainstream leading man. Of course he's already played a famous singer when he appeared as Tupac Shakur in Notorious, the year he came on every bodies radar for that double whammy with The Hurt Locker. I also firmly believe he would have been Greengrass' top choice for the Martin Luther King Jr biopic he had planned. Of course that project never happened either but we do expect Mackie to win a role soon that will propel him to Jeremy Renner-like status, ironically enough, as he just lost out on The Bourne Legacy lead role to him after screen-testing for it. Variety posted a story late last night claiming Mackie had received an offer to join the potentially stunning cast of WB's Tales From The Gangster Squad which already has Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Josh Brolin attached - and not only that, but he was also being eyed for a role in the zombie epic World War Z alongside Brad Pitt, a Paramount project that recently got a jolt of new life from David Ellison€˜s Skydance Productions. I imagine simply because there wasn't many black cops in the 1940's L.A. - that the role offered to him is a supporting part but the WWZ role could be pretty major. Recently, Mireille Enos, star of AMC's The Killing joined as Pitt's wife in the movie that will be directed by Quantum of Solace helmer Marc Forster from a black list approved screenplay by J. Michael Straczynski (with rewrites by Matthew Michael Carnahan). The movie will revolve around a researcher for the U.N. (Pitt) who interviews survivors of a zombie-human war from countries all over the world some ten years after the crisis. His mission is to piece together a first-person account of the aftermath the war left on the world, and with a hefty $125 million budget it promises to be the most detailed and intense work of zombie cinema we've ever seen. Meanwhile Tales From The Gangster Squad is based on Paul Lieberman€™s series of 2008 articles in the L.A. Times concerning the €˜off-the-record€™ and questionable L.A.P.D. of the 1940€s and their influence from the East Coast Mafia to the screen, and now the project is finally taking shape after six months of trying as a greenlight has been handed out. Multiple Oscar winner Sean Penn has been offered the role of Mickey Cohen, a violent muscle man for infamous criminal Al Capone. Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin would be the two cops wholly determined to bring him down. Tales From The Gangster Squad has been adapted by former L.A. cop turned novelist Will Beall and after trying to court all A-list directors they could think of last year, including Ben Affleck, Darren Aronofksy and Paul Greengrass €“ WB eventually settled on Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer to direct, who seemed hungry enough to bring a new entry into the 30€s rat-a-tat genre. Both films are due to shoot this summer however, so it might come down to Mackie choosing one or the other.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.