If you weren’t already pumped for “A Place Beyond the Pines,” director Derek Cianfrance‘s follow-up to “Blue Valentine,” you’d better be now. Variety reports that Ray Liotta, one of the most manic and entertaining actors working today, will be joining ‘Pines’ which already includes “Blue Valentine” star Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Greta Gerwig. Cianfrance, who co-wrote the film with Ben Coccio, has compared the tone of the film to “The Godfather” and “The Deer Hunter” (Holy crap!). Sidney Kimmel, Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell and Alex Orlovsky are on board as producers.
Liotta will play a corrupt police officer in what the director has called a “generational crime flick.” The story focuses on a professional motorcycle rider (Gosling) who turns to to robbing banks in order to support his newborn son. Things go wrong when he crosses the path of a police officer-turned-politician (Cooper). Cianfrance has said of the project, “I have a film called ‘The Place Beyond The Pines,’ which is all about fathers and guns, and it has motorcycles and guns in it.” We’re definitely interested! Mendes will play the mother of Gosling’s son and Gerwig is slotted as Cooper’s wife. It was announced last week that “Animal Kingdom” actor Ben Mendelsohn will play Robin Van Der Zee, the mechanic who turns Gosling’s character onto the life of crime.
Liotta will appear next year in Andrew Dominik‘s “Cogan’s Trade” opposite Brad Pitt. Over the course of 25 years, Liotta has played a cop in no less than a dozen films, so the role will no doubt be familiar to him. Hopefully, ‘Pines’ will take him down the path of his portrayals in films like “Narc” or “Cop Land,” and less so than “Youth in Revolt” or “Date Night.” Filming is expected to begin on July 25th.