When you lose D.J. Caruso and gain Liam Neeson & Scott Frank in one fell swoop, that’s what we’d academically refer to as a “win-win-win.” The Disturbia helmer was, about eleven months ago, attached to direct A Walk Among the Tombstones, but duties on the big-budget sci-fi extravaganza Invertigo will be taking up his precious time.
Now, Deadline reports that Frank (who also wrote the script) will make his Lookout directorial follow-up on the film, while Neeson has formally agreed to star in the Universal Studios-backed adaptation of Lawrence Block‘s novel, a move that will also make him the second actor to play Matt Scudder. (Jeff Bridges previously took on the character in Hal Ashby‘s final film, 8 Million Ways to Die.) Double Feature Films, Danny DeVito‘s Jersey Films, Exclusive Media and Cross Creek Pictures will be producing, with a February 2013 start being eyed.
You can read a summary of the original book below (via Amazon):
“[A] pair of men who prey murderously on women progress to kidnapping the womenfolk of drug dealers and demanding huge ransoms. Former alcoholic PI Scudder-now going to more AA meetings than ever-reluctantly agrees to help one dealer, a Lebanese, after his wife is killed by the kidnappers. Slowly and methodically he discerns a pattern in the mayhem. With the help of his erstwhile police colleagues, his black Times Square sidekick TJ and his call-girl sweetheart, Elaine, Scudder tightens the net on the culprits. When they seize the daughter of a Russian dealer, he is ready for the showdown.”
Now, if you’ve seen 2007’s The Lookout, you know there are already plenty of good, solid reasons to give Tombstones your attention. (And if you haven’t seen The Lookout, please amend this error promptly.) While we should be good on the writing & directing front, I’m also hoping that such a role will help Neeson get back into the serious actor mold that, for the most part, has been missing in his recent outings — January’s The Grey being a notable exception. If Frank showed that he can get great performances out of great actors one time, I’ve got no reason to think it can’t happen again.
How does this mixture of actor, helmer, and source material strike you?
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