With Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 under his belt, Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black has proven himself to be an atypically energetic and stylish filmmaker. Now, he’s shaping his next film, a noir thriller called The Nice Guys, under Joel Silver’s (Non-Stop) Silver Pictures banner. Today, the tremendously exciting news has emerged that Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are circling the starring roles.
With Black sitting in the director’s chair, The Nice Guys had already piqued our interest, but Gosling and Crowe’s possible involvement just turned it into a red-hot package. Silver is expected to shop the movie around to various studios and independent financiers over the next few days, so a bidding war seems imminent.
Of course, Gosling and Crowe are highly in-demand stars, so they may not be able to commit to The Nice Guys. In particular, doing publicity for Crowe’s directorial debut The Water Diviner could be an unavoidable conflict for the actor.
Black and Anthony Bagarozzi penned the script a while back, but it’s only now gaining momentum. According to TheWrap, the story, set in smog-ridden, 1970s Los Angeles follows “Jackson Healy (muscle-for-hire, recovering alcoholic) and Holland March (private eye, practicing alcoholic), who are brought together by the suicide of a fading porn star. However, the dead girl’s aunt is convinced she saw her niece alive and well after the highly publicized incident. March needs money, takes the case, and within days, it’s blossomed into a far-reaching murder conspiracy, bizarrely rooted in smog and the U.S. auto industry.”
The Nice Guys sounds like a highly promising film noir, particularly if Gosling and Crowe become attached. Watching Black inject that genre with his high-octane style of storytelling will be very cool, and I couldn’t imagine a better pair of actors to help him do it. Both Gosling and Crowe are highly talented, and seeing them team up in the parts of Healy and March would be a real thrill.
We’ll let you know more about this project as it emerges.