Edward Norton is a Detective With Tourette’s in First Motherless Brooklyn Trailer

As Heinz Ketchup told us in their ubiquitous ad campaigns of yesteryear, good things come to those who wait. Behold, the first trailer for Edward Norton’s two-decades-in-the-making Motherless Brooklyn, which he adapted from Jonathan Lethem’s 1999 novel. Norton is not only the writer/director but also stars as Lionel Essrog, a private detective in 1950s New York with Tourette’s syndrome. Essrog is thrust into a major case when his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis), a small-time mobster, turns up dead. Essrog has no choice but to take on the mysterious case, putting himself into harm’s way.

Check out the trailer here:

Looks promising, no? It’s interesting that Norton decided to change the time period of Lethem’s book, which was set in modern-day, and instead place the story in a very different 1950s New York. The period setting looks spot on, and Norton looks to have done his level best to capture the glorious spark of Lethem’s prose and the lovable, conflicted central character in Lionel Essrog. He’s also rounded out his film with a great ensemble cast, which was necessary to capture the vivid characters, semi-major to minor, that populated Lethem’s fantastic novel. Along with Norton and Willis, the cast is really excellent. Willem Dafoe, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Leslie Mann, Bobby Cannavale, Fisher Stevens, and Cherry Jones.

Motherless Brooklyn will make its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September (we’ll be there and will report back). It’s one of the most hotly anticipated films entering this year’s festival circuit—it’ll also play, appropriately, at the New York Film Festival.

Motherless Brooklyn is set to hit theaters on November 1, 2019.

Featured image: Caption: (L-R) GUGU MBATHA-RAW as Laura Rose and EDWARD NORTON as Lionel Essrog in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Glen Wilson


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