The Hollywood Reporter is, er, reporting that serially underrated actors Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan will star in a thriller entitled “Penthouse North,” to be directed by Joseph Ruben. It was announced at the Toronto International Film Festival and will start shooting in Canada’s capital of Ottawa this November.
The plot concerns a photojournalist who is traumatized by a recent tragedy and retreats from society, entombing herself in a swanky Manhattan penthouse. However, the darkness she’s been shielding herself from comes at her full force after a charismatic criminal (Keaton) comes a-knockin’.
Ruben, who has directed everything from the kitschy-fun “Dreamscape” to the guiltily pleasurable “Sleeping with the Enemy” and “Money Train” to the downright atrocious “The Forgotten,” is sort of the guy you get when De Palma won’t return your phone calls. Although it should be noted that he’s responsible for a pair of exemplary late-80s thrillers – 1987’s “The Stepfather” (which featured a script by Donald Westlake) and 1989’s “True Believer” (complete with one of James Woods‘ all-time great performances).
He’ll be working from a script by David Loughery, who started his career writing big studio action movies like “Passenger 57” (the man deserves a medal of honor if he came up with the “Always bet on black” line), Disney’s “Three Musketeers” and, not coincidentally, aforementioned late night cable staple “Money Train.” In recent years however, he’s refashioned himself as the everyman’s Joe Eszterhas, penning middle-of-the-road thrillers like “Lakeview Terrace,” “Obsessed,” and the forthcoming tits-and-blood spectacular “Nurse 3D.”
It’ll be nice to see Keaton and Monaghan, two actors badly in need of more exposure (or perhaps better representation), headlining a semi-major movie. Anyone who remembers a villainous Keaton in 1990’s “Pacific Heights,” knows how creepy he can be. And Monaghan, who stars in the upcoming “Machine Gun Preacher,” is a talented and spirited actress that far too often plays somebody’s girlfriend. Since the logline has her “mustering inner strength,” we’re at least guaranteed a little more than her making goo-goo eyes at her strapping movie star boyfriend.
Lionsgate is handling foreign sales, so we assume they’ll be distributing the film domestically, probably sometime next year.