Warner Bros. is in the early stages of making a deal to acquire U.S. rights to Shane Black‘s noir film “The Nice Guys,” an individual familiar with the Ryan Gosling-Russell Crowe project has told TheWrap.
A representative for Warners did not respond to multiple requests for comment over the past two days.
Joel Silver is producing via his Silver Pictures banner. Black and Anthony Bagarozzi wrote “The Nice Guys” years ago, but the project has been languishing in development until recently gaining new momentum. The duo actually staged a public reading of the script in October 2011 at the Austin Film Festival.
Set in smoggy 1970s Los Angeles, story follows Jackson Healy (muscle-for-hire, recovering alcoholic) and Holland March (private eye, practicing alcoholic), who are brought together by the suicide of a fading porn star. However, the dead girl’s aunt is convinced she saw her niece alive and well after the highly publicized incident. March needs money, takes the case, and within days, it’s blossomed into a far-reaching murder conspiracy, bizarrely rooted in smog and the U.S. auto industry.
Black is the veteran blockbuster screenwriter who most recently wrote and directed “Iron Man 3,” which grossed more than $1.2 billion worldwide. He worked with Silver on the “Lethal Weapon” series, among other movies.