Now that they've filled the 'Superman: The Man of Steel' vacancy, Warner Bros. are aggressively on the hunt to find a director for another movie they are fast tracking - 'Tales From The Gangster Squad', their period, 'Public Enemies' style gangster flick that must now be seen as a potential tentpole. As we've said, the movie is based on Paul Lieberman's series of articles in the L.A. Times two years ago concerning the 'off-the-record' and questionable L.A.P.D. of the 1940's and their influence from the East Coast Mafia. A big part of the script is their chase against gangster Mickey Cohen, a violent muscle man for Chicago's notorious criminal Al Capone. Former L.A. cop Will Beall has fleshed out the articles into a screenplay that obviously has WB very excited. Their first choice to direct after being impressed by his work on 'The Town' was Ben Affleck, but he quickly passed last week. Yesterday it was revealed WB were trying to convince Darren Aronofsky to take the gig as choice no. 2, but they are losing the battle with 20th Century Fox who look favourite to secure him for their 'Wolverine' sequel. Almost admitting defeat already, WB have put together a bunch of names they will look at once the inevitable Aronofksy pass comes. The name at the top of this list is an intriguing choice; Paul Greengrass ('The Bourne Supremacy', 'The Bourne Ultimatum' and 'Green Zone') - which would almost guarantee a frenetic, shake-cam style period gangster film. His appointment would mean the film would have as personal a hallmark as Michael Mann slapped onto 'Public Enemies'. His relationship with Universal is all but over leaving Warner Bros. free to entice him to jump ship and I have a feeling this is the kind of project a lot of his fans, including me, would love to seem him board. The other names are; Francis Lawrence ('Constantine', 'I Am Legend') - He is seen as director no. 3 at WB after Chris Nolan and Zack Snyder, and inevitably finds his name linked with every WB picture. He has at least half a dozen deals there and was indeed the man they brought in to try and save 'Jonah Hex' when it was obvious they had a disaster on their hands. He couldn't save that from hitting the abyss but he's a decent enough filmmaker. Martin Campbell ('Casino Royale', 'The Mask of Zorro') - The former Bond helmer is making 'Green Lantern' at the studio and they have obviously been impressed by his work that they have commissioned a sequel and obviously want to keep him in the family. Another good action helmer. Greg Berlanti ('Life As We Know It', 'Dawson's Creek') - Is a Warner Bros. favourite having scripted 'Green Lantern' and having deals for a sequel and 'The Flash'. Has a rom-com/light-weight drama history and by all accounts his new movie 'Life As We Know It' is a bit of a nightmare. Scott Cooper ('Crazy Heart') - Would seem to be last on the list at WB and a huge gamble for them having only directed one feature, and that being a modest, dramatic picture that won accolades more for the performances it contained than anything else. We would be surprised if he got this gig unless he put in an unprecedented, passionate plea. Greengrass has been developing a 'Treasure Island' movie at their studio whilst also mulling over 'The Bourne Legacy' (which this week ended up with Tony Gilroy, so that offer is off the table) but there's no commitments yet. He could certainly direct this gangster film, if he wants it. And as a big fan of the genre (I named 'Public Enemies' my favourite film of last year, I'm sure you all remember) - let's hope a deal can be arranged.