In a red-hot package taking shape, Oscar winner Russell Crowe and Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling are being courted to star in Shane Black’s noir film “The Nice Guys,” multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
Joel Silver is producing via his Silver Pictures banner and will be shopping the project to studios and independent financiers in the coming days, as various development executives have been closely tracking “Nice Guys.”
Representatives for Gosling and Crowe cautioned that it’d be premature to call either actor attached, especially Crowe, as the project may conflict with his publicity schedule for his upcoming directorial debut “The Water Diviner.”
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.
In addition to “The Water Diviner,” Crowe recently wrapped Gabriele Muccino’s drama “Fathers and Daughters.” He just starred in Darren Aronofsky‘s “Noah” and will likely be in the mix this awards season.
Gosling’s directorial debut “Lost River” recently premiered to mixed reviews at Cannes. He’ll soon be seen in an untitled Terrence Malick movie set amid the music scene in Austin, Texas. He’s represented by Anonymous Content and LBI Entertainment.
Black is the veteran blockbuster screenwriter who most recently wrote and directed “Iron Man 3,” which grossed more than $1.2 billion worldwide. He has been developing a “Doc Savage” movie at Sony.
Both Crowe and Black are represented by WME and attorney Alan Hergott.