Denzel Washington

Update: Sony is in talks to pick up the film, Deadline reports, which will begin production in March with Robert Elswit returning as cinematographer. See new story details and the original post below.

Washington plays a hard nosed liberal lawyer named Roman J. Israel who has been fighting the good fight forever while others take the credit. When his partner, the firm’s front man, has a heart attack, Israel suddenly takes on that role. He finds out some unsettling things about what the crusading law firm as done that run afoul of his values of helping the poor and dispossessed, and finds himself in existential crisis that leads to extreme action.

After crafting one of the best directorial debuts of its respective year, we thought it would be fairly quick for writer-director Dan Gilroy to turn around with a follow-up. It’s taken a bit longer, but two years later, we finally have word of his next project — and the A-lister who may lead it.

Variety reports that Gilroy will next direct and write the legal drama Inner City with Denzel Washington currently eyeing the lead role. The project is described as “a character study in the vein of Paul Newman’s 1982 classic The Verdict,” directed by the great Sidney Lumet. Set in Los Angeles, not much else is known about the film yet, but studios are already circling the drama, including Netflix.

Meanwhile, Washington can be seen this fall in The Magnificent Seven and the highly-anticipated Fences, which he also directed. While much of the last decade for Washington has been action features and thrillers, he did greatly impress in Robert Zemeckis’ Flight, so hopefully Gilroy gives him a similarly substantive role.

As we await more details, check out our discussion of Gilroy’s debut feature Nightcrawler below.

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