While Jason Bourne was a massive disappointment, I’m always eager to see what director Paul Greengrass is up to, and he could have an interesting project on the horizon. According to Deadline, the director is in talks to helm Ness, a film based on famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, whose exploits were previously detailed in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables. Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) penned the screenplay based on Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko’s graphic novel Torso, which is about Ness’ hunt for America’s first serial killer.
Deadline reports that Paramount sees this as a potential start to a franchise, and they’d like to start filming this fall. It will be interesting if this fast track is able to keep Greengrass on board. Before he finally decided to return for Jason Bourne, he was circling a new adaptation of 1984 and a Jimi Hendrix biopic. That being said, the crime genre is something that Greengrass hasn’t really delved into before, and Torso could be unique for offering a period setting (the comic takes place from 1934 to 1938).
It will be interesting to see who gets cast as Ness. If we’re going by the timeline of real events, Kevin Costner would be too old to reprise the role (Untouchables takes place in 1930), and it would be nice to see someone else take a stab at the part, especially since Ness will likely have a different kind of story. While I’m a little lukewarm on Helgeland’s screenwriting (I feel like he has far more misses than hits), and I was disappointed by his previous collaboration with Greengrass, 2010’s Green Zone, I hope that they can come together to put together an exciting crime film. If it’s a success, I certainly wouldn’t object to an ongoing franchise of period crime movies, especially ones done in Greengrass’ unique aesthetic.