Willem Dafoe Signing On for Edward Norton’s Long-in-Development “Motherless Brooklyn”

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Actor/filmmaker Edward Norton has been trying to get a movie made based on Jonathan Lethem’s novel  for so long that most of us rooting for the project had mostly given up on it.

Norton’s long-in-development project might have found its savior in The Florida Project star , who received his third Oscar nomination for his role in Sean Baker’s film last week. He just signed up to play a key role in the adaptation, the has confirmed.

Motherless Brooklyn is being produced independently with Warner Bros on board as a negative pick-up once it’s finished. Norton adapted the novel himself, and he’ll star as 

Set in New York City in 1954, Norton’s character Lionel Essrog is a private eye with Tourette Syndrome who sees his mentor and friend be murdered by thugs, which leads him to a Harlem nightclub and developer Moses Randolph, who is buying up property to build an expressway.

Dafoe will play Randolph’s brother Paul, who has been beaten up and left broken, but might have a connection to the murder of Lionel’s mentor.

Repped by and , Dafoe is following his upcoming Oscar night — in which sadly, he might lose in his category to Sam Rockwell — playing Vincent Van Goth in Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate, which filmed in November and might be preparing for a festival debut later in the year. Dafoe will also play Vulko, mentor to Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, in the James Wan-directed film, also for Warner Bros., which will be released in December.

This story was initially reported by Deadline.

  | East Coast Editor
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