D.J. Caruso has had an interesting career thus far. He started doing moodier fare like “The Salton Sea” and less notably the Angelina Jolie thriller “Taking Lives.” He detoured into the sports gambling movie “Two for the Money” before dropping the Hitchock-ripping “Disturbia,” the actioner “Eagle Eye” and then this year’s “I Am Number Four.” The curious thing is that all of his movies have been middling. Not terrible, but not really that good either, and he’s profitable and enthusiastic enough to still get his name on pictures. He already has the comic adaptation “Preacher” on his table, but a decidedly different sort of movie might come first.
Deadline reports that the long developing adaptation of crime writer Lawrence Block‘s “A Walk Among the Tombstones” now has financing thanks to Cross Creek Pictures and Caruso is looking at taking the director’s chair. The book is one in an excellent series centered around Matt Scudder, a former alcoholic and ex-cop who in his retirement acts as a private investigator on cases that come his way. In ‘Tombstone,’ a heroin dealer’s wife is kidnapped and her body starts being returned in pieces. Scudder is assisted by his street smart sidekick, TJ, while at home waits Elaine, his girlfriend and former call girl.
The project has been banging around for the past 14 years or so, with Harrison Ford at one point eyeing the lead role. Studios were hesitant to take on the edgy drama but perhaps they’ve been buoyed by the sleeper success this spring of “The Lincoln Lawyer,” another similar genre tale. The credentials on this one are sound and it boasts a screenplay by Scott Frank (“Out of Sight,” “Minority Report,” “The Lookout“) which definitely promises to add some extra scope and depth to the material. We hope this gets moving if only because Matt Scudder is a great character, something a little different than usual potboiler fare, and it should translate very well to the big screen.