Chris Nolan’s ‘The Keys to the Street’ Going Into Production, But He Won’t Direct

By September 9, 2013

Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan has risen through the directing ranks over the past decade to become one of the world’s most high-profile filmmakers, and though he’s currently hard at work on his new sci-fi feature Interstellar, we’re about to see something else from him we’ve never seen before: a script he wrote is being made into a movie, but Nolan isn’t directing it.

The Keys to the Street is an adaptation of Ruth Rendell’s novel of the same name, and Nolan originally wrote the project almost fifteen years ago. Nolanfans says the script was something the director was developing as a possible directing project right after his first studio picture Insomnia (along with a Howard Hughes biopic that never saw the light of day because Scorsese beat him to the punch with The Aviator). The story, set in London’s Regent’s Park, follows a woman who tries to escape her abusive ex-boyfriend while a series of murders occur in the area. There’s a love story angle in there too – the woman has fallen for a new man – so this might be one of the few times we actually see a project associated with Christopher Nolan deal with intimacy. (The filmmaker has been criticized for essentially emitting any sort of sexualization in his past movies.)

Gemma Arterton

The film gets underway this January, and Variety reports that Gemma Arterton will play the lead while Tim Roth will play the violent ex-boyfriend character. Max Irons will take the part of Arterton’s new love interest. Michael Stokes, whose resume is full of movies you’ve never heard of, has a co-writing credit here, which will probably make it difficult to tell how much of the final product we see was Nolan’s original work.

The basic plot sounds interesting, and Arterton hasn’t been given much of a chance to shine with truly solid material (she’s tough to watch – but easy on the eyes – in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and the other American blockbusters she’s starred in), so maybe this will be her opportunity to prove herself as more than just a pretty face. Roth is almost always entertaining to watch, so hopefully the cast and Czech director Julius Sevcik can make this project more interesting than a mere footnote at the bottom of Nolan’s filmography.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.