EXCLUSIVE: There are few bands right now that deliver no frills, rootsy, blues influenced rock ‘n roll, but the The Black Keys are easily the best of the bunch. The duo have been at it for well on a decade now, with six albums that have seen the band both expand and mature their sound into a fiercely honed shape that is instantly identifiable, yet uniquely their own. With three Grammy awards now under their belts thanks to their latest album Brothers and the smash single “Tighten Up,” and with their next disc El Camino arriving next month, it looks like the pair are looking to dip their toes into some new waters.
The Playlist has learned that The Black Keys are in discussions with the filmmakers to score the upcoming crime thriller “Way Down South,” though no deal has been closed or signed just yet. Set to star Jack Huston (“Boardwalk Empire“), Emmy Rossum, rapper Nas (making his first film appearance in years) and Hank Williams III, the neo-noir story centers on a gambler and small time crook who steals a Civil War-era sword from a museum to finance his escape from a loan shark who staked him in a losing poker game. It’s a New Orleans flavored movie that is described as being influenced by famed novelists Flannery O’Connor and Harry Crews. Certainly, its ambitious fare from director Jonas Pate (“Shrink“), who penned the script with his twin brother Josh Pate (“The Take“).
Production on the movie will begin next spring in, you guessed it, New Orleans which should bring another layer of authenticity to “Way Down South.” The film is said to have a big musical component to the script and Rossum, who showed off her pipes in “The Phantom Of The Opera,” will be playing a singer in the movie as well. It seems everyone is striving to get the tone of this one right on the money, and The Black Keys tuning things up would certainly add an extra dimension to what looks to be a lively, pulpy tale. This would be their first time writing music specifically for a film, which could definitely yield some interesting results as they’ll be coming at it from a fresh perspective. No release date yet, but the film will likely do the festival rounds once its ready.