Hollywood Movie Draft Pitch IV: A Crime Drama by Kenneth Branagh

The 2012 Hollywood Fantasy League is now upon us! This extremely fun and addictive blogathon is created by none other than my friend Castor (who sadly has now disappeared from the blogosphere). This is my fourth time I’m participating  in this blog-a-thon, you can find links to my previous three pitches in this post.

I have drafted my director and actors last December, so you can read the rules and rationale on this post. Just to reiterate, this time around there’s a bit of a twist beyond simply assembling our favorite set of thespians. Besides limiting the cast to 3 actors and 3 actresses, there is also a competitive component to the HFL game where each player’s score is measured by the events affecting the filmmakers/actors of their choice. So if an actor I pick is cast in a mega-blockbuster or end up getting thrown in jail for a DWI, I may gain or lose points based on those events. Anyway, without further ado, let’s just get on the pitch, shall we?

LOGLINE:

A crime drama about a former gangster turned crime novelist who’s dragged into his dark past by his former aide looking to avenge the death of his brother. This is not an action film but more cerebral and suspenseful in nature, set with moody music and beautiful cinematography. My inspiration is Road to Perdition.

BACKGROUND:

Story is set in Boston in the mid 60s. I’ve always liked a period film with all the retro set pieces, cars, clothes, etc. and the characters will be mostly Irish-Americans. The protagonist is Vincent Moran, a crime novelist under a pseudonym Connor McEarleane (combining the last names of his grandparents) who’s given up his criminal lifestyle for 15 years. What starts out as an innocuous way to alleviate his writer’s block ends up being much bigger than any of the players had originally anticipated.

DIRECTOR: Kenneth Branagh

Originally I drafted Branagh as I wanted the story to be set in Ireland, but I think he’s still going to be a good fit for this film as the characters are mostly Irish-American and Branagh’s done a noir film before, Dead Again. I’m thinking he could work with someone like The Departed screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) to create a compelling noir drama that’s heavy in character development. Branagh would also go well with a lot of actors with theatrical background like Gabriel Byrne, Tom Hiddleston and Rebecca Hall.

The Irish thespian would also have a cameo as Moran’s editor in the film.

CAST OF CHARACTERS:

Gabriel Byrne is Vincent Moran, a 53-year-old chain-smoking, fedora-wearing Irish-American who’s left his life as a gangster 15 years ago. He’s penned several best-seller crime novels under a pseudonym Connor McEarleane (combining the last names of his grandparents), but is currently suffering from a massive writer’s block.
///

Tom Hiddleston is Eddie Stokes, 37-year-old railroad engineer who was one of Vincent’s men. His brother Mike was Vincent’s former aide who’s killed by Vincent’s former rival, Liam Winter. Eddie’s been trying to get away from the crime business for years, but he just couldn’t let go of his brother’s death.
///

Rebecca Hall is Evelyn Dillon, 34-year-old aspiring actress who works part time at Emerson College as an associate drama teacher. She’s Eddie’s girlfriend, but also caught in an affair with the charming and persistent Danny. Evelyn’s also a victim of the Mob as her dad was accidentally killed during a shootout at his factory.
///

Richard Armitage is Daniel ‘Danny’ McGrath, 38-year-old childhood friend of Eddie who’s an undercover cop investigating a corruption involving the Irish-American Mob. As a youngster, he watched his family members rise and fall under them so this mission is a personal one.

Kristin Scott Thomas plays Vincent’s loyal wife Sylvia, who has chronic heart disease. When she almost died of heart failure 15 years ago, she pleaded with Vincent to leave the Mob and live peacefully for the sake of their family. She’s now serves at the board of a local Heart Foundation.

Saiorse Ronan is Claire Moran, Vincent’s only child who’s the apple of her dad’s eye. She’s 19 and is a drama major at Emerson College. She was rebellious in her early teen years, hanging out with the wrong crowd and had bouts of drug addiction. But ever since Evelyn befriends her, she’s much calmer and has become closer to her parents.

\;.;

Special thanks to my friend Stella K. @ Byrneholics.com for helping me with some of the plot points.

PROLOGUE:

Flashback of a disheveled and swollen-eyed Vincent at the hospital next to his ill wife Sylvia after an open heart surgery. Vincent tells her to keep his promise if she lives this time, that is he’d leave the Mob business, something Sylvia has pleaded with him repeatedly. The scene then changes to Vincent smoking profusely in his study, surrounded by crumpled paper all around him and cigarette butts piling up on his ashtray. He’s having a major writer’s block for months and he thinks being away from the crime underworld is making him dull.

THE SET UP:

ACT I

It’s a crisp late Autumn evening, suddenly Vincent receives a call from his former employer Eddie who demands to see him at once. Eddie has been trying to track him down for the past two years for he wants Vincent to help him bring down his former rival Liam Winter [I’m thinking someone like Terrence Stamp in this role] to avenge his brother’s death. Eddie’s brother Mike was Vincent’s former aide.

At first Vincent was reluctant to get back into the criminal underworld he’s left behind so long ago, but Mike was a loyal employer to him, plus this might help him get his creative juice back. But Vincent makes Eddie promise that he’d be patient with this plan as they have to be very careful to bring down someone like Liam.

Meanwhile, Danny’s mission to infiltrate Liam’s fast-growing empire is made even trickier as Eddie constantly pesters him for information. Danny insists that he’d help Eddie bring Liam to justice but his mission is to bring the Mob boss alive so the force could use him to arrest the others, but of course Eddie just wants Liam dead. Eddie’s always got a complicated relationship with Danny as there’s always a trace of rivalry between them, and to make things worse, they both fall for the same woman when both of them met Evelyn as she’s waiting tables at a local bar.

ACT II

The Eddie + Vincent’s collaboration is far from smooth. They’re always at each other’s throats whenever they meet to go over their plans of attack. Before long, Vincent realizes that Eddie’s so consumed with his vengeance that he’s become reckless and impulsive that his behavior puts both of them in danger. This plan also puts a strain on Eddie’s relationship with Evelyn as he’s become volatile. One minute he’s sweet as can be, taking her on the town and showering her with love, but the next he’s irritable and insolent. A few times Evelyn runs into Danny when Eddie’s suddenly gone missing for days and she vents to him. Danny made a promise to Eddie never to reveal any of his plans involving the Mob to Evelyn as they both know that is the one thing Evelyn would never tolerate. Danny tries his best not to be overcome by his jealousy towards Eddie but at the same time he can’t suppress his feelings for Evelyn.

Weeks go by and Vincent’s getting restless that his dark past is creeping up on him and he suspects that Eddie has something to do with it. Vincent’s editor Gus Foshay (possibly Branagh doing a cameo in this role) has been pestering him about Vincent missing the deadline for his next novel and he comments about a rumor that Vincent was involved in some shady stuff in the past, and whether the publishing company need to be worried about that. Vincent assures Gus it’s all just hearsay, but he realizes that in this business, one can never be too trusting or too careful, which means that everyone who knew about his past ought to be silenced. Talking to Sylvia that night, not only does she concur that idea, but that she urges her husband to do whatever it takes to ensure their family’s well-being.

ACT III

Claire comes home for Christmas and brings along her drama teacher Evelyn who’ve become good friends ever since Claire takes her classes. Evelyn’s supposed to spend Christmas with Eddie but he cancels at the last minute, saying he gets call off to work. As Evelyn has no clue who Vincent is nor his scheme with Eddie, she casually mentions about how spending time with the Morans helps her get over her disappointment of not spending Christmas with her boyfriend. Vincent eventually figures out that her boyfriend is Eddie and this makes him even more convinced that getting rid of Eddie would also mean protecting Evelyn from such a reckless personality who might also endanger Claire’s life if Evelyn ends up marrying him.

Before returning home that evening, Evelyn drops by Eddie’s house to grab something she had left there but finds Eddie lying on the floor with blood all over. It turns out that he’s got a tip that Liam was going to be at some Christmas dinner and decides he’s going to take him out on his own instead of waiting for Vincent. But he ends up in a shootout with some of Liam’s men and got shot in the upper arm.

Evelyn confronts him and so he has no choice but to tell her everything. Evelyn’s furious that Eddie’s been lying to her and so after treating his wounds, she leaves the house. Danny’s heard about the shootout and is on his way to Eddie’s when he runs into Evelyn. Danny takes the distraught Evelyn home and she tells him she’s breaking up with Eddie. Danny tells her he’s been in love with her for years and they end up sleeping together.

Early in the morning Liam and three of his men find out where Eddie lives and enter the house to kill him but Eddie’s already on the way to Vincent’s. They ransack the house and found an address written taped on a piece of paper. That address turns out to be Vincent’s home.

ACT IV

Eddie tells Vincent what happens so before Liam gets to his house, Vincent promptly takes Sylvia, Claire and Eddie into his 1963 Cadillac DeVille to his safe house in the country. Once he drops his wife and daughter there, he and Eddie heads back to the city that same night. Unbeknownst to Eddie, Vincent has made a call to Liam and told him that it’s Eddie who wants him dead. He made up a story that Vincent has no choice but to help Eddie because he threatens to kill his daughter. Vincent offered to personally deliver Eddie himself if Liam promises to leave him and his family alone. Liam sees no reason not to believe Vincent as he has been away for so long.

Back in the city – When Evelyn wakes up in the morning, she tells Danny she’s worried about Eddie. So the two heads over to Eddie’s and find the house torn to pieces. They immediately presume that Eddie’s been kidnapped by Liam. Danny calls for backup to Liam’s compound and then takes Evelyn to one of his trusted colleagues.

By the time Danny and the police get there, Liam and two of his men had been shot point blank in the head. They also find Eddie’s dead body in the same room with a gunshot to his head and a .22 cal pistol in his hand.

EPILOGUE:

Vincent drives back to his safe-house to be with his family. A brief flashback to Vincent and Eddie taking out Liam and his men, which ends with Vincent taking Liam’s pistol and aiming it at Eddie, saying “I’m sorry Eddie, but you did get your vengeance. Liam won’t ever kill again,” and pulls the trigger.

Soul jazz music blares from his stereo as the scene of Vincent driving fades into a montage of him typing away at his typewriter, inter-cut with scenes at a rainy funeral of Eddie, and ends with a close up of teary-eyed Evelyn in Danny’s arms.


Well, what do you think? Would you be interested to see a movie with this kind of story and cast? I welcome your feedback.

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72 thoughts on “Hollywood Movie Draft Pitch IV: A Crime Drama by Kenneth Branagh

  1. Ruth I love your character descriptions. Your cast is wonderfully suited for their roles as described. My one question is — who do you have in mind to be Liam? He seems like an interesting character.

    I love film noir and a modern noir is something that is up my alley; this seems like a solid story.

    Good job with great detail!

    1. Hi Iba, I knew someone’ll ask that question about Liam 🙂 If I’m not confined to just 6 people, I’d definitely cast him here. I’m thinking someone like Terrence Stamp or Stephen Rea.

      Glad you like my story, I try to vary the genre in every pitch I’m doing. Crime drama just keeps sticking out in my head, plus I just want to see Gabriel wearing a Fedora the entire time, ahah.

  2. Nice pitch Ruth! I read the whole thing 😀 I loved the premise and the characters. What I think the story needs would be a greater focus, maybe take Vincent’s perspective only to keep the narrative clear and on track.

    1. Thank you Castor! This is far shorter than my previous pitches but it’s still longer than I thought it was gonna be, ahah. Good suggestion about keeping the focus on Vincent, that will definitely be the case as the story starts and ends with his character. I’d make sure to button up that perspective thing in the screenplay if I were to write it.

  3. Ted S.

    Ruth seriously you have to put your stories into a screenplay, this is good stuff. Heck I’ll help you write the screenplay, mostly I’ll throw in the technical stuff since I’ll also be directing it. 🙂 Things like how certain scenes should be shot and so on.

    Would love to see it made into a film, we need a good film noir, Hollywood doesn’t make them anymore.

    1. PrairieGirl

      Hey Ted, I know you and Ruth will need a location manager… so when do I leave for Massachusetts, ha ha! ;-D

    2. Why thanks Ted, it really consumed me the past few days. I think this is right up your alley as I know you like crime stories, though this won’t be gory like say In Bruges or Layer Cake. That’s why I like Road to Perdition as a lot of the action happens off the screen but yet the impact is still there. I’s LOVE to have enough time to at least attempt to write a screenplay. I was hoping to do it w/ Hearts Want, too, the one w/ Dalton in the lead. Who knows maybe one day we’ll do this together, Ted, fingers crossed!!

      You’re right that Hollywood doesn’t seem to invest in a good film noir these days, I’d love for that trend to come back.

      1. Ahah Castor, if I could afford you, I’d definitely hire you in the marketing department. To have my movie be featured in AM would surely be an honor! 😉

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  5. Ruth, you rock! You threw some twists and turns in there and surprised me, and I knew what you were up to! Great job. Being a Gabriel Byrne fan, I of course agree with Castor that the narrative needs to be Vincent’s, but the supporting characters you have created are solid and I think everyone’s motivation is clear. Yes, I would see this film. Heck, I would pay good money to see this film!!! 🙂 Thanks for the shout-out, too. I want to help you write the screenplay… LOL

    1. No, YOU rock!! THANK YOU for all the great story ideas, wow you must read/watch a lot of crime stories.

      Oh no worries girl, Gabriel IS the lead in this film so yeah, he’ll have the most screen time and this is his story. It starts and ends with him and hopefully people will come away at the end thinking, ‘wow you don’t wanna mess with Vincent Moran!’ 😀 I think Gabriel can handle being a charming and loving husband/father but also have that sinister and ruthless side to him that’s unpredictable. He’s got that quiet grace about him too, and of course he’d look good with a Fedora and cigarette in hand.

      1. Yes, Gabriel can be good and bad all at the same time. He can definitely handle “complicated.” I’m so glad you chose him for this. Plus your other cast members are knock-outs too and now Kenneth is going to play the publisher AND direct. What fun! 🙂

    1. Why thanks Jack, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it. Yes Miller’s Crossing is definitely one of the inspiration. I think the Coens picked the perfect actor for Tom Regan. I just realized Gabriel’s character here has a similar last name as that one, I didn’t plan it that way actually.

  6. Ruth, this is awesome. Gabriel Byrne is perfect! You are a casting genius. Branagh usually stars in his directed films – so I presume he is Liam or Vincent’s publisher… I say Roger Deakins is the cinematographer since Conrad Hall has passed on.

    Well done!

      1. Well Stella, rockerdad’s knowledge of film is amazing. Btw, his real name is actually the inspiration for the lead, though his is spelled out slightly differently.

    1. THANKS Vince! I’m glad you like the story and the cast. This kind of movie pitch exercises indulge me in my dream of being a casting manager, ahah. As for Branagh, I actually did draft him to have a cameo in the movie, and yes, he’d probably play the editor. I think Terrence Stamp would be perfect as Liam, no?

      Great idea about Mr. Deakins! I love his work, particularly The Shawshank Redemption and A Beautiful Mind.

  7. Sorry I’m late Ruth. I didn’t realize it was already up. This is an excellent pitch as usual. I would definitely go see this. It’s a bit complicated, but all good noir is!

    I love your casting. Yes, Branagh as the editor! Have him wear the glasses 😉

    I agree that Rebecca Hall is a great choice. I loved her in The Town, which had a similar setting. (She was dating a criminal and didn’t know it.) Her character being caught between two mob guys & also teaching Vincent’s daughter is the kind of “small world” coincidence is all good noir.

    I like Kristin Scott Thomas and Gabriel Byrne as Saiorse Ronan’s parents, it’s always great when the actors playing a family look like they could actually be related.

    1. Hey Paula! Oh there’s no such thing as a late comment, any input is always appreciated.

      Thanks for the feedback. Yeah I realize it’s a bit complicated, and guess what, my original story is actually got even more twists and turns so I pared this down quite a bit.

      Glad to hear you like the cast. Oh yeah, I’ll have Mr. Branagh wear the glasses like in the photo above, I can really see him as ‘Gus.’ 🙂 Actually Danny is not part of the mob as he’s a cop, and Evelyn doesn’t know about Danny’s undercover until the very end when she tells him about what happens to Eddie.

      I just LOVE Saiorse and so when I wanted a young Irish actress as Vincent’s daughter, she’s the obvious choice.

      Thanks for reading, girl!

    1. What movie(s) have you seen miss Hall in, Andrew? Hey, I take ‘delish,’ that’s awesome coming from you. And I knew you’d approve of Branagh and KST, I was actually thinking of casting Helena Bonham Carter as well, perhaps for my next story 🙂

  8. I’m not going to go as far as making a pitch, but this looks like it was a lot of fun Ruth. I have to write my own script for a short I’m shooting soon, so that takes the lead right now.

  9. Love your cast Ruth, good choice with Ken Brannagh as director. What a refreshing take on the gangster genre. I like to see a crime thriller that’s not afraid to get introspective, I’m not surprised you took Road to Perdition as your jumping off point. If I did a Love that atmospheric lead graphic as well, nice work. You should do that for a living Ruth 😉

    1. Hey thanks Ronan, I appreciate your feedback. Yes, I agree with you about the ‘introspective’ aspect of crime thrillers. I’m more concerned about the motivation of the characters than simply seeing more shoot-em-up scenes or car chases though of course there’ll be some of that if necessary. Glad you like that graphic, I just think it’s perfect to illustrate the kind of vibe I want for this and the typewriter font gives a bit of a hint that the protagonist is a novelist. Ahah, I wish I could do this for a living 😀

  10. yes to Branagh and Hiddlestud 🙂 but no to Rebecca and Scott Thomas, those two are boring to no end and have zero charisma and charm, kinda like living zombies if that’s even possible.
    I can’t wait to see Branagh and Winslet’s GUERNESEY POTATO PEEL PIE BOOK CLUB

    1. Hall and KST living zombies??? Oh my, I certainly haven’t heard that before.

      Oh, that Branagh + Winslet re-teaming sounds great. I need to read up more on that one.

    1. Hi thanks Michael, I appreciate you taking the time. This one actually took less time than my other pitches, only because I procrastinated until 3 days before it’s due! Good thing I had Stella to help out. Glad to hear you’ll watch it, wahoo! 😀

  11. Ruth, this is fantastic! You’ve got the casting spot on, and I think Stamp would be a very good choice for Liam.

    Perhaps you and Stella should give up the day jobs and give this a go full time! Well, you can dream, can’t you? 😀

    1. Why thanks Claire, kind words. Glad to hear you approve of Terrence Stamp as Liam, he’s got those icy eyes that are perfect to play gangsters.

      Ahah, yeah I wish I could give up my day job to do this, but like you said, a girl can dream 😀

  12. How I miss blogging. Love reading your pitch to start my blog walking.

    I see some interesting actors/tress in your cast that can make me decide to watch it.

    Storywise, it reminds me of a book by Japanese Author about a man from bad past trying to live normal but then he was pulled back to his bad past. Of course the case is different here. I like this kind of story, so I will most definitely watch your movie, Ruth 🙂

    1. Hi Nov, sorry for the late response. Thanks for your comment, somehow I knew this is right up your alley 🙂 Somehow I like stories of people getting dragged in to his past, my first pitch also deals with a similar theme though he’s not a gangster. Seems like I also like to cast older actors as the protagonist in my films too, but of course there are younger actors as well who are very easy on the eye, ahah.

      So are you moving somewhere Nov? I thought I saw your tweet about it. I’ll send you a DM later.

  13. As with so many comments here Ruth, I concur. The story is great. The one thing I was hoping you’d do since you were using Kenneth Branagh was create great characters that each add their own worth to the tale and see movement. And you did.

    I also agree with the use of Terrence Stamp in the role of Liam.

    While reading it, I was wondering exactly how it would end, and I really liked the way in which you chose to do so. I think that Castor has a good point, Vincent’s perspective would work very well.

    Sorry it took me so long to get here, but I am real glad I took the time to read this. Another film of yours that belongs in my dvd collection! Hurry and make it! 🙂

    1. Thanks T, glad you like the pitch. I’d be honored that you’d even be willing to buy the dvd 😀

      Just read your pitch btw, LOVE it! As you know I love Biblical epics so yeah, I wish that would actually get made!

  14. I’m very impressed with this Ruth. There’s a lot of detail and backstory to the characters. I can definitely picture this narrative playing out. Good choice in choosing Branagh to tackle it. I didn’t really like Dead Again but the atmosphere was spot on and I can see the look and feel that you’d be trying to achieve here. Good choice of cast members also (except Byrne) LOL. I’d choose Day-Lewis or Paddy Considine but I’m not entirely certain on the riles. That aside, this is a sterling job you have done here. 🙂

    1. Hey thanks for reading Mark, I really appreciate you taking the time. Ahah, you really dislike Byrne… such a bummer, I think he’s perfect for this role. I like Daniel and Paddy, too, but as I wrote this I kept picturing Byrne as Vincent, he has the aura I’m looking for, plus he is Irish.

      Thanks for the kind words, I really enjoy doing this kind of pitch, I might do a treatment of the ‘novel’ I’ve been putting on a back burner, the one sort of inspired by GB. I think it still works even though I’m not as enamored with him.

        1. Ahah well, I’m not mad at him, just disillusioned. I mean his latest movie Olympus Has Fallen made me cringe, it looks soooo bad and now TWO of his movies only garner 4% on Rotten Tomatoes, back to back! I really think he should fire his agent and maybe take some time off and figure things out. He has the talent, but he needs to be wiser in choosing his roles.

  15. “charming and persistent Danny.” Well, of course 🙂

    GREAT story here, I love that every character has a purpose here and that everyone has something going on. I wish someone made that movie, that ending shot would be beautiful 🙂 Love your cast, Hall is such a great actress and she should be in films like that, not Iron Man 3.

    1. THANKS for reading and commenting Sati, I really appreciate it! I sooo want to Richard gets a proper movie role, even if he’s not the leading man but at least enough screen time for him to show his chops.

      I’d think he and Hall would look good together and there’ll be lots of longing look from him when she’s still with Hiddleston’s character (oh I LOVE his longing look, he practically perfects it in North & South and also Robin Hood as Guy pines for Marian).

      The love scene between them would be steamy as well (at least in my head, ahah)… I mean, all that pent up emotion that’s been building between the two of them…. I’ll make sure Hall tears his clothes apart in that scene, ahahaha. Oh, and I imagine Richard would be sporting a five o’clock shadow as Danny, kind of like this one: http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Richard-in–Robin-Hood–richard-armitage-605469_1024_576.jpg but with shorter hair as he’s a cop 😀

      1. I really, really, really hope he will get more roles soon. It’s astonishing to me that they had this guy in UK and they chose Craig to be Bond. That’s insane. But I’d love Richard to do stuff like this – smart thrillers, though with Bond there would be a lot of shirtless scenes 😛

        I’m pretty sure neither Hall nor the audience would survive the clothes tearing scene ^^ But yeah she is really lovely, I hope she gets her big break soon too, she really should be more famous by now with great roles like the ones in The Prestige and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

        I really need to see Robin Hood soon 😛

        1. “It’s astonishing to me that they had this guy in UK and they chose Craig to be Bond” I know!! Crazy right? I mean every time I watched Spooks, I just thought of him as Bond. Oh man, this guys needs an audience!! He’s dripping with masculinity & grit, but he’s also elegant and sexy. Can’t say I find Craig sexy, ahah. RA’s got the whole package like Timothy Dalton, I mean he’s got the perfect height (6’2″) + lean physique, great face, great voice, everything! I think his time to play Bond is over, but yeah I’d LOVE to see him in a romantic thrillers (please not like Taken where it’s just about someone being kidnapped!!).

          Ahah, well I know I was swooning uncontrollably seeing just the short love scenes of him in Spooks and Strike Back (which I’m sure you’ve seen also). I wouldn’t want to see him do a graphic sex scene though, that’s just cheap. But something very suggestive with the right lighting, angle, sound, etc. that leaves a LOT to the imagination, ahah. Oh and lots of close up on the actors’ expressions, to me those are sexier than nudity any day! 😀

  16. Love the genre and the casting choices, Ruth. Also, the relationships between and the motivations of the characters are strong. The style and atmosphere are quite juicy, and I’d love to see this cast together. (Hall sounds just perfect for that role by the way.) I wonder what Brendan Gleeson would be like as Liam (maybe he’s too likable?), and I’d be curious to see Edward Burns in a supporting role. Anyway, you should do a script treatment at some point, like you mentioned. I’ve outlined and written 2/3 of a crime drama script myself, so this might just inspire me to finish it.

    1. THANK YOU Josh, I really appreciate you taking the time. I thought I’ve responded to your comment, sorry. I wish Hollywood makes more atmospheric thrillers that isn’t too graphic, like Road to Perdition is just perfect for me. Glad yo like Hall’s casting. None of the actors here are movie stars but they’re all very talented and has many cult following, ahah.

      I like Gleeson but I imagine someone with a cold/icy demeanor, that’s why I think of Terrence Stamp right away. I think like you said, Gleeson would be too likable. Oh, I like Burns, I could see him having a supporting role maybe as a cop (Danny’s partner maybe).

      I hope to find the time to do a script treatment, Josh. Oh, I’d love to read your story idea, is that something you wouldn’t mind sharing?

      1. Sure thing, Ruth. Here’s a teaser: When Detective Jack Gibbs comes home to a small Illinois town for Christmas (in 1999), he expects a normal (awkward) holiday experience with his estranged father Arthur. However, the recent – and tragic – death of Jack’s wife Alice weighs on his mind. Things take a toll for the worst when his father is implicated in the death of Jack’s mother Martha, which occurred ten years prior. Was his mother murdered? Was his father responsible? As he struggles to come to terms with his wife’s death, Jack must find the answers to these questions in this little community if he’s ever to find peace.

        Other characters I left out are a gangster named Lucas “Lucky” Franco, a local waitress named Mary-Anne Washington, and Jack’s partner from Chicago, Tom Valentine. It’s kind of a mix of films like Chinatown and A History of Violence, except it’s not very violent.

        1. WOW, I really like the sound of this Josh. Intriguing stuff. I’m glad it won’t be as violent as A History of Violence, I like crime dramas where the violence happen mostly off-screen. I’m more interested in characters and good story instead of blood and gore, sounds like your pitch is VERY promising indeed. Which actors do you have in mind for this?

          1. Thanks so much, Ruth! Yeah, there’s a quick bloody flashback and a brief shoot-out, but that’s the extent of the violence. Hmmm. Off the top of my head, I’d say:

            Jack-maybe Sam Rockwell
            Arthur-Brian Cox
            Franco-Chazz Palminteri
            Mary-Anne-Carey Mulligan
            Alice-Rosemarie DeWitt
            Martha-Julianne Moore
            Tom-Paul Bettany

            1. Oooh, I LOVE the cast! I mean Rockwell, Cox, Mulligan, man I’d watch it just for the cast!! You also include one of my fave under-appreciated actress Rosemarie DeWitt, wahoo!! I’d love to see you do a pitch of this one Josh, not a script but more of an elaborate synopsis 😀

    1. Hello Chris! Thanks so much for reading this and for the kind words. I haven’t done anything w/ it since unfortunately, but will do so at some point. 😀

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