After 15 long years Edward Norton has the chance to make the film he is calling his passion project: an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s detective novel Motherless Brooklyn. Norton optioned the material in 1999 and has been trying to make the movie ever since. He finally received the much-needed financing in the form of his Red Dragon director Brett Ratner. Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac Entertainment have provided the funding necessary to make the film, and Ratner will produce along with Norton and his Class 5 Films partner William Migliore. Packer will executive produce with Class 5 Films’ Stuart Blumberg.
“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 filmaker,” Ratner explains to Deadline. “As soon as I read the script for Motherless Brooklyn I knew this was a project I wanted to get involved with.”
Norton will star as Lionel Essrog, a detective suffering from Tourette’s syndrome, who seeks to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend. Essrog’s obsessive mind slowly unravels the clues that lead him through Brooklyn’s dangerous criminal underworld. Norton will transplant Lethem’s present-day novel to 1954 Brooklyn, making the film a period piece as well as a crime drama.
With Norton directing from his adapted script, his dream is finally being realized. He is currently casting the film and will begin production later this year in New York.