When Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn was published way back in 1999, Edward Norton, whose star was still on the rise, expressed interest in adapting it for the screen. 15 years later, he’s finally pulled the trigger on the project, which will be financed by Brett Ratner (ick).
From A.V. Club:
Motherless Brooklyn tells the story of Lionel Essrog, a Brooklyn native who works for a shady car service. When his boss and mentor goes missing, Essrog takes it upon himself to find him. One of several obstacles in his path is Tourette syndrome, which keeps pulling Essrog into an endless routine of tics and compulsions. In lesser hands, the Tourette’s angle could come across as gimmicky or exploitative, but Lethem walks a careful line, making Essrog’s plight sympathetic and realistic.
Norton has proved his chops playing affected characters in roles like those in The Score and Primal Fear, but he also plans on taking on directing duties here. His only other credit in that arena is Keeping the Faith, a good film, but a romantic comedy starring Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman. Can he make the leap to something with this much gravity?
He’s certainly had time to prepare.