Just last week, there was forward progress on Edward Norton’s adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s New York-based crime novel Motherless Brooklyn as Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe joined the cast. Norton continues to fill his already impressive ensemble cast with Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin and Gugu Mbatha-Raw all joining the project, which has also just started filming.
Norton adapted Lethem’s novel himself and is directing, starring and producing the film with his Class 5 Films partner Bill Migliore along with MWM Studios’ Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane. Michael Bederman, Adrian Alperovich, Sue Kroll, Robert F. Smith, Brian Sheth and Daniel Nadler are executive producers on the film, which will be released worldwide by Warner Bros.
Besides those mentioned above, the ensemble cast also includes Cherry Jones, Ethan Suplee, Leslie Mann, Josh Pais, Fisher Stevens, Michael K. Williams and Robert Wisdom.
Set in 1950s New York, the story follows Norton’s private detective Lionel Essrog, who tries to solve the murder of his only friend and mentor, Frank Minna, who will be played by Willis. The search for Frank’s killers leads Lionel to Harlem and a slimy real estate developer who is using the poverty in certain New York neighborhoods to buy property cheaply.
Norton has been trying to get this adaptation of Motherless Brooklyn made for more than 15 years, and who knows what happened that suddenly allowed him to make the film? One expects that Warner Bros. might try to leverage the movie as a possible awards-contender…. if it’s any good, of course.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor