Earlier this summer, word arrived that Allen Hughes and Mark Wahlberg‘s long-gestating thriller “Broken City” — which the actor had been talking up during press rounds for “The Fighter” last fall — had received $60 million in financing and then…there wasn’t much news in a while. But once you got cash to make the movie, the rest of is just putting pieces and players into place, and “Broken City” is now building.
Russell Crowe has now taken the co-starring role opposite Wahlberg in the gritty crime thriller. The excellent 2008 Black List script by Brian Tucker is a neo-noir as dark as night, following Billy Taggart, an ex-cop thrown off the force after shooting a 16-year-old kid. Eight years on, he’s working as a private detective, and is hired by the colorful incumbent in the New York mayoral race to investigate his wife’s infidelity but Taggart digs up much, much more including a shady real estate deal in a story of city corruption that is not unlike “Chinatown.”
The project isn’t set up at a major studio despite the star power and there is probably a good reason why: the plot goes to some incredibly dark, brutal places by the end, with a conclusion that feels like a punch in the gut. “Broken City” was once set up at Lionsgate but that appears to be no longer the case. Emmett/Furla Films are financing and we presume it will repped soon at the upcoming Venice and Toronto festivals as it seeks out distributors.
Crowe is coming off a trifecta of underperformers with “State Of Play,” “Robin Hood” and “The Next Three Days” but this, along with his turn in “Man Of Steel” marks some smart, comeback worthy choices for the actor. Allen Hughes will direct the film and while no start date has been announced, we don’t see this happening until late 2011/early 2012 at the earliest. [Deadline]