Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington is in talks to star in the crime thriller Little Things for Warner Bros., Collider has confirmed.
John Lee Hancock, whose new film The Highwaymen will debut later this month on Netflix, has written the script and will likely direct, though he doesn’t have a deal for the latter gig just yet.
According to Variety, Washington is poised to play Deke, a burned-out cop up in Kern County who teams with Baxter, a crack detective from the LA Sheriff’s Department, to catch a serial killer. Deke has a nose for the “little things” that can help solve a case, but he also has a knack for breaking the rules, which poses a problem for Baxter. Meanwhile, Deke has problems of his own, as he’s haunted by a dark secret from his past.
This feels like a return to Training Day territory for Washington, who won an Oscar for that film, which also earned his co-star Ethan Hawke a nomination. The plan here is to pair Washington with another A-lister, and with the project apparently on the fast track at Warner Bros., it’ll all come down to scheduling. The studio would love to start production this summer, but many A-list actors have already filled their summer slots, so it’ll be interesting to see who Washington eventually wrangles as his sparring partner.
Washington had been planning to direct the Sony drama A Journal for Jordan, which will star Michael B. Jordan, but according to Variety, a recent meeting with Hancock led him to reconsider his next project. Little Things must be one hell of a script, because Washington doesn’t commit to movies lightly, especially one that would effectively delay his next directorial effort after 2016’s Fences, which brought him his first Best Picture nomination as a producer.
Washington is coming off of The Equalizer sequel, which grossed more than $100 million at the domestic box office, and prior to that film, he earned back-to-back Oscar nominations for Roman J. Israel, Esq. and Fences. He’s represented by WME.
Hancock is the well-respected filmmaker behind The Blind Side, The Founder and Saving Mr. Banks. His new film, The Highwaymen, finds Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson on the trail of Bonnie and Clyde, and it recently premiered at SXSW in advance of its March 29 release on Netflix. He’s repped by CAA.