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Edward Norton's 'Motherless Brooklyn' Finally Happening Thanks To Brett Ratner

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 20, 2014 at 6:26PM

Way back in 1999, Edward Norton had big plans following David Fincher's "Fight Club" — he was going write, direct and star in an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem's acclaimed novel "Motherless Brooklyn." Obviously, that didn't quite happen. Instead, the project become Norton's great white whale, with not much in the way of news since except promises that he was working on it (as of 2010 he stated he was only halfway finished writing the scipt). But now, it's actually getting ready to shoot. And it's all thanks to Brett Ratner.
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Motherless Brooklyn Edward Norton

Way back in 1999, Edward Norton had big plans following David Fincher's "Fight Club"—he was going write, direct and star in an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem's acclaimed novel "Motherless Brooklyn." Obviously, that didn't quite happen. Instead, the project become Norton's great white whale, with not much in the way of news since except promises that he was working on it (as of 2010 he stated he was only halfway finished writing the script). But now, it's actually getting ready to shoot. And it's all thanks to Brett Ratner.

That's right, the "Rush Hour" filmmaker is throwing his producing power behind "Motherless Brooklyn" with a fall 2014 shoot in the cards. As for the story, it centers on a Brooklyn detective in 1999 who has Tourette's syndrome and displays its symptoms of involuntary tics. Here's the Amazon synopsis:

Lionel Essrog is Brooklyn's very own self-appointed Human Freakshow, an orphan whose Tourettic impulses drive him to bark, count, and rip apart our language in startling and original ways.  Together with three veterans of the St. Vincent's Home for Boys, he works for small-time mobster Frank Minna's limo service cum detective agency. Life without Frank Minna, the charismatic King of Brooklyn, would be unimaginable, so who cares if the tasks he sets them are, well, not exactly legal. But when Frank is fatally stabbed, one of Lionel's colleagues lands in jail, the other two vie for his position, and the victim's widow skips town. Lionel's world is suddenly topsy-turvy, and this outcast who has trouble even conversing attempts to untangle the threads of the case while trying to keep the words straight in his head.

It's always been promising material, and we've been eager to see Norton take it on and we're glad to finally see it happen. It will be his second time behind the camera, following 2000's "Keeping The Faith." So hey, any time you want to complain about Brett Ratner, just remember, he's helping to make this happen.

This article is related to: Edward Norton, Brett Ratner, Motherless Brooklyn


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