Netflix Exec ‘Fell Asleep’ During ‘L.A. Confidential 2’ Pitch, Says Screenwriter Brian Helgeland

Netflix turned down a sequel for Oscar-winning film “L.A. Confidential” — with one executive allegedly falling asleep during the pitch meeting.

Screenwriter Brian Helgeland claimed to Deadline during a Toronto International Film Festival interview (below) that a Netflix exec nodded off while Helgeland was presenting the 1970s-set film pitch to the streaming platform.

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“[Author] James Ellroy and I worked out an elaborate pitch for ‘L.A. Confidential 2’ that takes place during the Patty Hearst [era], when the Symbionese Liberation Army came down to L.A., and we had Guy Pearce attached and Russell [Crowe] and Chadwick Boseman playing a young cop working for Mayor Bradley,” Helgeland said. “We pitched it to everyone. We had to go to Warner Bros. first and Warner Bros. is like, ‘We don’t make movies like this.'”

The “Mystic River” scribe continued, “Ellroy is a performance artist and he would do the pitch; and it was the most amazing pitch.”

However, Ellroy’s “performance” wasn’t enough to keep Netflix entertained: “Our executive at Netflix fell asleep during the pitch,” Helgeland said. “They fell asleep and nodded off during the pitch.”

After that interaction, Helgeland was done pitching the film. “I got home, and said, ‘We can’t do that anymore,'” the “Finestkind” writer-director concluded.

While what year the sequel script was floating around is unknown, Helgeland previously told The Ringer in 2021 that it was a “few years ago” when Warner Bros., the studio that led the first film, “passed” on the feature.

The 1997 film “L.A. Confidential” landed two Oscars, including one for Best Adapted Screenplay for Helgeland and Best Supporting Actress for Kim Basinger. It was also nominated for Best Picture.

Multiple other failed iterations of “L.A. Confidential” have been in the works, including Luca Guadagnino being attached to direct the prequel movie titled “The Big Nowhere.” Author Ellroy also attempted a TV series in 2018 with a pilot shot for CBS before the network passed on it.

Ellroy recently slammed the initial film after director Curtis Hanson’s death in April 2023, saying he could now “disparage the movie” and called it “problematic.”

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