Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese screenwriter William Monahan is deep in the process of assembling his directorial debut London Boulevard, based on his adaptation of the novel by Ken Bruen. It’s already got Colin Farrell and Kiera Knightley as Mitchell (Mitchell!), a South London criminal, and Lillian, the actress he works for after doing a stint in prison.
Now David Thewlis has signed on as Knightley’s ‘agoraphobic business manager’, according to Empire, and Ray Winstone will also appear as a former crime boss. Anna Friel is in the cast as well, and the film starts shooting in London in a couple months.
Will Monahan be able to channel the screenwriter turned director success (well, relative success) Tony Gilroy? Does a partial admiration for the work he’s done for Scott and Scorsese (Kingdom of Heaven, The Departed, Body of Lies) predispose me to guess ‘yes’? But if Knightley is playing the actress, described as ‘faded’ in the novel, some tinkering has been done with the basic setup. Her description leads to obvious connections. Faded actress…London Boulevard…Sunset Boulevard, you get it. I like the idea of seeing this cast do a Sunset Boulevard thing under Monahan, but that could also get cutesy and/or way contrived really fast.