Mann & DiCaprio Do L.A. Noir

“Heat,” “The Insider” and “Collateral” director Michael Mann has delivered a pitch for his next directing effort, his first film since last year’s box-office fizzer “Miami Vice”.

Penned by “Gladiator” and “The Aviator” scribe John Logan, the project is a “L.A. Confidential”-esque untitled noir drama that takes place on the old MGM lot in the 1930s reports Variety.

Leonardo DiCaprio is poised to play the kind of private detective studios once relied on to clean up the scandals created by its stars. He’s hired to investigate whether a starlet murdered her husband.

A shootout scene that unfolds in the Trocadero nightclub on Sunset Boulevard is a centerpiece of the film, whilst yesteryear celebs like Judy Garland and Bugsy Siegel are worked into the story.

The script was delivered to studios late last week, and sources say a deal is expected soon, but so far many studios have been reluctant to bite due to its $120 million pricetag (and Mann’s tendency to go over budget).

At present only New Line has made an offer for $100 million, but Sony, Paramount and Fox are said to be circling. A February start-of-shooting date is planned.