'Breaking Bad' star joins Penn, Gosling, Brolin in period police drama

Bryan Cranston is in negotiations to join the cast of “The Gangster Squad,” the Warner Bros.-Village Roadshow period police saga opposite Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Michael Pena and Anthony Mackie.

Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”) is helming from a script by former Los Angeles Police Dept. officer Will Beall.

Cranston will portray Max Kennard, a laconic LAPD officer from Texas who enforces the law ambitiously. The “Breaking Bad” star also recently booked a role in Ben Affleck’s hostage-rescue thriller “Argo” at Warner Bros., as Variety first reported Tuesday.

Dan Lin and Kevin McCormick are producing through Lin Pictures and Langley Park, respectively; Jon Silk, of Lin Pictures, is co-producing.

Project is based on the Los Angeles Times’ seven-part series “Tales From the Gangster Squad,” to which Warner acquired the rights two years ago. The articles, penned by Paul Lieberman, chronicled the LAPD’s struggle with increasing crime and corruption in the 1940s by forming the Gangster Squad to keep East Coast organized crime figures out of Los Angeles.

Cranston, who’s repped by UTA, is currently filming New Line’s “Rock of Ages” and Sony’s “Total Recall.”

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