Sean Penn to play mobster Mickey Cohen

March 31st, 2011

Sean Penn is set to play Los Angeles mobster Mickey Cohen in 'Gangster Squad'.

The Oscar-winning actor is in talks to take on the lead role in 'Zombieland' director Ruben Fleischer's new movie about the former boxer-turned-sociopath who became an associate of infamous gangsters Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky.

The drama will focus on the squad of elite Los Angeles officers in the 1940s charged with stopping him and other mobsters with Ryan Gosling expected to play one of the cops.

Will Beall has written the script from a series of articles by Paul Lieberman with Dan Lin and Kevin McCormick producing for Warner Brothers.

Sean had taken a break from acting to focus on his charity work in Haiti but has been linked to the lead role in 'Genius', a biopic about the late Max Perkins, who was the editor for Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe.

Perkins has been described as the most famous literary editor of all-time and the movie - which has been adapted by writer John Logan from A. Scott Berg's biography 'Max Perkins: Editor of Genius - will focus on his working relationship with Wolfe.

As well as 'Genius', Penn is also rumoured to have been considering taking on the role of surfing icon Dorian 'Doc' Paskowitz.

The 'Fair Game' star - who launched his career playing surfer Jeff Spicoli in 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' - will produce the film about the eccentric Paskowitz and his family and is keen to take on the main role.