Rumours that Edward Norton wanted to make an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s novel Motherless Brooklyn first emerged back in 1999. However it’s taken him a long, long time to pull all the pieces together. Now Deadline reports that he’s moving forward with the project and plans to both direct and star.
The money is coming from RatPac Entertainment, which is run by Brett Ratner and James Packer. They’ve just had a huge success with The Lego Movie and they’re behind Cameron Crowe’s upcoming new movie too.
While Lethem’s novel is set in the modern day, ‘Norton has set the story in New York in 1954, a time of great change in the city. He plays Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s syndrome, who tries to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend. Armed only with few clues and an obsessive mind, Lionel slowly unravels closely guarded secrets that have major ramifications. It leads him through Harlem jazz clubs, Brooklyn slums and sets him against thugs and Gotham power brokers to honor his friend and save a woman who might his own salvation.’
Brett Ratner comments, “We all know Edward Norton is one of the most compelling actors of our generation, but I also know he’s an exceptional writer and filmmaker… Edward’s script has melded elements of Jonathan Lethem’s terrific novel with an original story that at once feels classic and entirely fresh. And with Edward playing Lionel Essrog, the brilliant private detective with Tourette’s Syndrome, this will be a tour de force performance.”
Norton previously directed Keep The Faith and many have wondered why he hasn’t been behind the camera since as it was a great debut. Now we’ll be able to see what he came up with next.