Double your pleasure, Norton-o-philes. The actor, who suddenly cannot be stopped* will be playing dual, genetically identical roles for writer/director Tim Blake Nelson in the flick Leaves of Grass.

The picture is billed as a ‘comedic thriller’, an identity readily apparent to anyone who reads descriptions of Norton’s roles: (1) an Ivy League classics professor and (2) a ‘hedonistic pot-smoking career criminal. Nelson reportedly wrote the script with Norton in mind; in turn, Norton had his people finance the film.

While those roles don’t fill me with glee, I do love the idea of Norton returning to comedy. Without having read a page, I can envision this as a sort of stoned Hitchcockian Big Deal on Madonna Street (hopefully more that than Welcome To Collingwood, please) where mistaken identities and criminal intent twist into the comedic mix that completely eluded the Coen Brothers in The Ladykillers. And while it’s been a minute (six years, actually) since Tim Blake Nelson’s big directorial year of O and The Grey Zone (I didn’t see the television movie he made last year) I can see him being the proper talent to channel a sort of Ealing Studios charm.

* (The Incredible Hulk, Pride and Glory and State of Play
will all feature Ed in the next year or so, and the very unreliable
IMDB has Motherless Brooklyn listed as ‘pre-production’, too.)