Warner Bros. has closed a deal to finance Iron Man 3 director Shane Black’s upcoming noir film The Nice Guys, in which Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are set to star. Black has a long-standing relationship with Warner Bros. thanks to the Lethal Weapon franchise, which he created for the studio back in the ’80s, and Black’s directorial debut Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, so word that the studio wants to work with him again doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
The Nice Guys also sounds extremely promising. Black will both direct and co-write the script with Anthony Bagarozzi, a hot ticket in Hollywood who is working on scripts for Doc Savage and Death Note at the moment, so Black’s fans can expect the period noir to feature the same whip-smart dialogue and dark humor that has become the filmmaker’s calling card over the years. Black is also re-teaming with Joel Silver, who produced the Lethal Weapon franchise, for The Nice Guys.
The story, set in smog-choked, 1970s Los Angeles, will follow Jackson Healy (Gosling), a beefcake and recovering alcoholic, and Holland March (Crowe), a private detective and practicing alcoholic, who cross paths when investigating the supposed suicide of a down-and-out porn star. However, the porn star’s aunt claims to have seen her niece alive after her death, which doesn’t sit right with Healy or March. Strapped for cash, March takes the case, only to uncover a far-reaching murder conspiracy that has ties to smog and the U.S. auto industry.
Originally viewed as a TV series, The Nice Guys never got past the pilot stage, so Black and Silver ended up morphing it into a feature film. That change was likely for the best, seeing as stars of Gosling and Crowe’s magnitude would almost certainly have never gone for the project had it been set to play out on the small screen.
We’ll keep you posted as a release date is announced for The Nice Guys.