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Robert Patrick is so ‘Gangster’

Patrick will take the role vacated by Bryan Cranston

EXCLUSIVE: Robert Patrick has closed a deal 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.

Emma Stone is also in talks for the female lead, as Variety first reported Tuesday.

Patrick will portray Max Kennard, a laconic LAPD officer from Texas who enforces the law ambitiously. Bryan Cranston had been in talks last month for the role, but is no longer involved.

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

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

Project is based on the Los Angeles Times’ seven-part series “Tales From the Gangster Squad,” to which Warner acquired 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.

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Patrick just wrapped on Universal’s “Safe House” and is working on Billy Bob Thornton’s “Jayne Mansfield’s Car.” Best-known credits include “Walk the Line,” “Die Hard 2” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”

Patrick’s repped by The Coronel Group and attorney Jerff Frankel.

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