Shane Black is one of my favorite current filmmakers. The guy is an incredible writer and a stellar director, and he’s finally gained some industry cred for helming the insanely popular Iron Man 3 after his directorial debut – the underseen detective noir Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – barely registered as a blip on Hollywood’s radar. (Kiss Kiss is one of my favorite movies of the past 15 years, so if you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend it.) Black has used some of his newly-obtained Hollywood juice to push a project called The Nice Guys through the pipeline, and now it’s confirmed that this will be his next directorial effort, since Warner Bros. has set an official release date for June 17th, 2016.
The director has been wanting to get this project off the ground for years, initially writing it with Anthony Bagarozzi as a TV series before reworking it as a film script when it didn’t make it past the pilot stage. The film will star Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, and here’s the official synopsis from the press release:
The Nice Guys takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, when down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Gosling) and hired leg-breaker Jackson Healy (Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power.
Sounds a little bit like Crowe is treading on some previously-trod ground since he played a bruiser like this in another period piece noir thriller, L.A. Confidential. But knowing how Black works, it’s likely that he cast Crowe for that exact reason and will probably flip that characterization on its head. And Gosling sounds like a great fit, since he was one of the few watchable aspects of the otherwise terrible Gangster Squad. Mega-producer Joel Silver is producing this one, and he had this to say:
Ever since we did ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,’ I’ve been eager to work with Shane again, and with this film we made it happen. It’s a terrific script written in Shane’s great cinematic voice. With Russell and Ryan on board, I know we’re in for another wild ride.
This sounds like exactly the kind of quick-witted, in-too-deep mystery that Black excels at writing, and I’m glad he finally earned the ability to get this project financed. He continues to have several other projects in development, but with this release date confirmed by the studio, it’s now 100% certain that The Nice Guys will be his next movie out of the gate. The release of this film will be an event for me in the same way many people (myself often included) anticipate superhero film releases, so you can be sure I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one as it moves forward.
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