EXCLUSIVE: To Live And Die In L.A., the cult 1985 MGM movie written and directed by William Friedkin, is headed to the small screen. In a competitive situation, WGN America has landed a drama series adaptation of the action thriller, with Oscar winner Friedkin directing and executive producing. Friedkin has created the TV adaptation with another Oscar winner, Bobby Moresco (Crash). Moresco will write the script and will executive produce. I hear the project, from MGM Television (Fargo) and Tribute Studios, has received a script-to-series commitment and is expected to go straight to series upon script approval.
To Live And Die In L.A. is a reimagining of Friedkin’s influential film, which helped launch the careers of its principal cast of then-unknowns, Willem Dafoe, William Petersen, John Pankow, Jane Leeves and John Turturro.
Like the film (you can watch a trailer below), the TV adaptation is based on the novel by former U.S. Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich and centers on a fearless Secret Service agent who will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner. The series is described as an intense immersion into the inner workings of the Secret Service and a cat-and-mouse chase through the dark underbelly of the City of Angels.
Friedkin’s credits include his signature movie, The French Connection, for which he won an Oscar, as well as The Exorcist and Rules Of Engagement. Moresco started his career in television, where he also co-created with his Crash collaborator Paul Haggis the drama series The Black Donnellys, and served as a producer on the series adaptation of Crash.
The project was packaged by ICM Partners, which reps Friedkin and Moresco. Moresco also is with David Guillod of Primary Wave Entertainment.