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Edward Norton set to finally direct his passion project Motherless Brooklyn

02.21.2014

Edward Norton hasn't directed a movie since 2000's KEEPING THE FAITH, but it appears he'll finally be stepping behind the camera again, and it's for a project he's been interested in for a long time. Deadline has learned Norton will helm and star in MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN, an adaptation of the Jonathan Lethem novel of the same name. The actor also wrote the script. Edward Norton originally snagged the rights shortly after his Oscar nomination for AMERICAN HISTORY X, and he has been trying to get the film made ever since.

Jonathan Lethem's book is set in present day New York, but the film will be set in 1954. Norton will play 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 and James Packer's RatPac entertainment will finance the film, and production should start sometime later this year.

“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. As soon as I read his script for Motherless Brooklyn I knew this was a project I wanted to get involved with and am thrilled to partner up with Edward and Class 5. 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.” - Brett Ratner

While KEEPING THE FAITH was from that weird period when people thought Jenna Elfman was funny, it's actually a pretty decent film, and I'm surprised it's taken Edward Norton this long to direct another movie. The plot for MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN sounds interesting, and personally I love things set in the 1950's. I have my fingers crossed Norton can snag a few great actors for his new film, but to be honest, I'm already sold on MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN.

Extra Tidbit: Which actors would you like to see Edward Norton work with for MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN?
Source: Deadline

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