Most recently plying his wares on TV shows such as Starz's “Magic City” and HBO's “The Pacific,” director Carl Franklin has decided to step back into the cinematic arena where he got his start, nine years after he directed the Denzel Washington actioner “Out of Time,” for a dose of shady business with the law.
Deadline reports Franklin has signed on to direct “City of Night,” an L.A.-set thriller written by David Chisholm, best known for writing the Fred Savage film “The Wizard,” peculiarly enough. 'City' follows Emmett Conlin, a rookie cop aspiring to rise through the LAPD ranks through its toughest crime units, until he faces a veteran corrupt cop eager to bring him down. Emmett then becomes the target of a psychological betrayal from within the department, and soon he doesn't know who to trust, or where to run.
The film is purported to be “in the tradition of 'LA Confidential' and 'The Departed,'” but obviously it appears the filmmakers are trying to stop the name of “Training Day” from entering the mix, since their storyline and characters basically reek of it from top to bottom. Still, Franklin has had a knack for taking well-worn premises and turning them new in the past. His underrated 1992 film “One False Move” is a simple cops and robbers narrative, but fortified with adept performances and some fantastically handled tension and racial subtext. “Devil in a Blue Dress” did similar justice to a standard private eye story as well, so look for Franklin to find some new twist to the project, as pedestrian as it may first seem.
Principal photography on “City of Night” should begin sometime this year.