Paul Greengrass to direct ‘Ness’ about famous Prohibition era lawman Eliot Ness

Our sister site Deadline exclusively reports that Paul Greengrass will direct the film “Ness” for Paramount Pictures, with production expected to begin this fall. Based on the graphic novel “Torso” by Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko, it recounts the story of famous lawman Eliot Ness and the search for the Cleveland Torso Murderer in the 1930s.

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“Ness” has potential to become a franchise for Paramount, but could it also be an awards contender?  Eliot Ness was previously the subject of “The Untouchables” (1987), which won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Sean Connery. And Greengrass has a history of balancing commercial franchises with prestige projects. He earned an Oscar nomination for directing “United 93” (2006), and he later directed the Best Picture nominated “Captain Phillips.”

But Greengrass is perhaps best known for helming three films in the “Bourne” spy movie series, including “The Bourne Supremacy” (2004), “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007) and “Jason Bourne” (2016). “Ultimatum” was a critical, commercial and awards success, winning all three of its Oscar nominations: Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing. If Greengrass is able to marry art and commerce like that once again Paramount could get the best of both worlds with a box office hit and an awards contender.

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The screenplay for “Ness” is by Brian Helgeland, who previously has found success with crime films. He won an Oscar for co-writing the script for the modern film noir “L.A. Confidential” (1997) and he was nominated again for adapting Dennis Lehane‘s “Mystic River” into a 2003 script. Are you excited for this new film venture for Greengrass and Helgeland? Comment below, and discuss this and more with your fellow movie fans in our forums.

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