Edward Norton, after a decade of pre-production talks and drafts and halts and stalls, is still confident in adapting Jonathan Lethem’s novel Motherless Brooklyn for the silver screen. Most of the delays, it turns out, seem to be on Norton’s shoulders alone. [The Playlist]

Here’s what he had to say:

“It’s partly a function of my time, just weeding through other things that I’ve made commitments to and finding the time for myself to finish the script…I’m underway with it. The nature of the story, needing to find the right way to make that film…but a lot of it has to do with my time. I’d like to clear up some other things first, but I will get around to it.” [Movieline]

Brooklyn, an adaptation Norton would write, direct and star in, tells the story of:

“Lionel Essrog, the barking, grunting, spasmodically twitching hero of Lethem’s gonzo detective novel that unfolds amidst the detritus of contemporary Brooklyn…Raised in a boys home that straddles an off-ramp of the Brooklyn Bridge, Lionel is a misfit among misfits: an intellectually sensitive loner with a bad case of Tourette’s syndrome, bristling with odd habits and compulsions, his mind continuously revolting against him in lurid outbursts of strange verbiage.” [Amazon]

In an interview with The Onion’s A.V. Club, Norton elaborates on his needing time with the script:

For me, writing things like that, it’s always a battle between things you’re working on in the present moment and things you want to make time to get to. I find that I’m not a person who can just sit and hammer out something like that while doing other things. So unfortunately I end up needing the time…

Though this year is poised to be a return to form for Norton, his two marquee films (Leaves of Grass and John Curran’s De Niro-co-starrer Stone) have hit some speed bumps. Grass, set to be released Friday (April 2nd), has been pushed back to the fall, the decision announced today, two days before April 2nd. As for Stone, the release date is set at May 7th on IMDB but there’s been little to no buzz for the film, only a month away from release. Box Office Mojo has no set release date for the film.

Maybe this we’ll give him some time to finish that Motherless Brooklyn draft.

What do you think of Edward Norton as an actor? Do you want to see Motherless Brooklyn?

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