Black and Anthony Bagarozzi wrote “The Nice Guys” years ago, but the project has been languishing in development until recently gaining new momentum. The duo actually staged a public reading of the script in October 2011 at the Austin Film Festival.
Set in smoggy 1970s Los Angeles, story follows Jackson Healy (muscle-for-hire, recovering alcoholic) and Holland March (private eye, practicing alcoholic), who are brought together by the suicide of a fading porn star. However, the dead girl's aunt is convinced she saw her niece alive and well after the highly publicized incident. March needs money, takes the case, and within days, it's blossomed into a far-reaching murder conspiracy, bizarrely rooted in smog and the U.S. auto industry.
Writer/director Shane Black’s long-in-the-works 1970s-set noir film The Nice Guys could finally be coming to fruition. Last month, we learned that the Joel Silver-produced project was picking up steam with Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe circling the lead roles of a private detective and a muscle-for-hire who are brought together to investigate the suicide of a fading porn star. It’s the kind of hard-boiled, noir-tinged project that seems a perfect fit for Black, so fingers were crossed that the pic could finally come together. Evidently all that wishing and hoping paid off, as Warner Bros. has now closed a deal to acquire the project, bringing it that much closer to being a reality. More after the jump.
shane-black-the-nice-guysTHR reports the news that The Nice Guys has found a home in WB. Written by Black and Anthony Bagarozzi, the story was initially envisioned as a TV series, but was repackaged as a film when the pilot never moved forward. Neither Gosling or Crowe is officially signed on at this point, but they appear to have been part of the lucrative package that caught Warner Bros.’ eye. The two certainly seem like swell fits, and the prospect of seeing them spout off Black’s dialogue in a 70s-infused world makes me very, very happy.
That moved along quickly. Back in June, we reported that Iron Man 3 director Shane Black was considering noir thriller The Nice Guys as one of several projects he’s juggling in development. Then, the casting was merely a wish list, but he’s clearly locked in his chosen actors, with Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe officially on board and Warner Bros. setting a June 17, 2016 release date for the movie.
The Nice Guys, which Black co-wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi, is set in the 1970s and will feature Gosling as wayward, troubled private eye Holland March, who crosses paths with hired muscle Jackson Healy (Crowe). These unlikely allies must prowl the mean streets of Los Angeles to solve the case of a missing girl, which soon develops links to the death of a porn star. As they unravel the cases, they discover a massive conspiracy with tentacles in the highest levels of power.
“Ever since we did Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, I’ve been eager to work with Shane again, and with this film we made it happen,” producer Joel Silver says in a statement picked up by Variety. “It’s a terrific script written in Shane’s great cinematic voice. With Russell and Ryan on board, I know we’re in for another wild ride.”
Shooting should kick off next year ready for that mid-2016 release. Black is also working on a new Predator sequel, his long-gestating version of the Doc Savage adventures and a take on the Remo Williams adventure novel The Destroyer.