Almost every actor or filmmaker has that one passion project that they’ve tried for years and years to make. That one story that they keep coming back to, no matter what else they do first. For Edward Norton, that project has been his adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn, which he’s been trying to get made since he optioned the novel in 1999. Now, 15 years later, things are finally moving forward for the actor, as we have word that RatPac Entertainment has signed on to produce the film which Norton will direct and star in.
Norton will play Lionel Essrog, a detective who is attempting to solve the murder of his mentor and friend despite his own battle with Tourette’s syndrome. As he delves into the case, Essrog learns that there are secrets involved with huge consequences, and despite having hardly any clues, he has to find a way to honor his friend and keep the world straight inside his own head.
It’s not uncommon for movie adaptations to change an older book to a more modern time period, but for Motherless Brooklyn, Norton intends to do the opposite. While the story is originally set in the modern day, Norton plans to set his film in New York in 1954. That’s a pretty bold decision, but this sounds like the sort of story that could do well as a period piece, and the ’50s in New York is a perfect time for a detective story. I’m not totally sold on it, but I can definitely see that decision paying great dividends.
As of now, it looks like production could begin in late 2014. There’s still no word on who else will be involved with the project but considering this is something Norton’s been working on for the last 15 years, you can be sure that he’s got some other cast members in mind.
What do you think of Norton taking on Motherless Brooklyn? Are you excited to see him direct and star in it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.