Motherless Brooklyn trailer: Ed Norton writes, stars and directs the secret history of modern New York

Back in 1999, when Edward Norton was riding high off the back of the success of American History X and Fight Club, it was rumoured he was set to star in an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s crime novel, Motherless Brooklyn. As we know, it's a project that never came to pass, but fast forward 20 years and Norton has written, starred in and directed what will be his second feature film behind the camera. It also features a new track from Thom Yorke (featuring Flea) called 'Daily Battles', a song Norton said made him cry when he first heard it.

The script was actually completed back in 2012, so it's taken some time for Norton to be able to get the project into production. It also stars Bruce Willis, an actor who has become stuck in b-movie action-thriller hell for the past decade. It's far more interesting to see Willis in dramatic roles nowadays, but those moments unfortunately seem few and far between. Watch the trailer for Motherless Brooklyn above, which has been released ahead of its arrival at TIFF next month.

Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna. Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York's power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honour his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.

There's a strong cast supporting Norton and Willis, with the likes of Michael Kenneth Williams, Willem Dafoe, Leslie Mann, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin and Bobby Cannavale all appearing.

Motherless Brooklyn opens in US cinemas on November 1 before hitting the UK on November 29.

Motherless Brooklyn (2019)
Dir: Edward Norton | Cast: Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Leslie Mann, Michael Kenneth Williams | Writers: Edward Norton (screenplay), Jonathan Lethem (based on the novel by)

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