(February 5, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Principal photography has begun on location in New York City on the noir thriller “Motherless Brooklyn,” for Class 5 Films and MWM Studios. Three-time Academy Award nominee Edward Norton (“Birdman,” “American History X,” “Primal Fear”) will direct from his own screenplay, and produce with his Class 5 Films producing partner Bill Migliore (“Thanks for Sharing,” “Manchester By the Sea”). MWM Studios’ Gigi Pritzker (“Drive”) and Rachel Shane (“Divergent”), whose collective credits include “Hell or High Water” and “Genius,” will also produce. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.
The stellar ensemble cast includes Norton, Bruce Willis (“Die Hard,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Pulp Fiction”), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Belle,” “Beauty and the Beast”), Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project,” “Shadow of The Vampire,” “Platoon”), Academy Award nominee Alec Baldwin (“The Cooler”), Cherry Jones (“American Crime,” “Transparent”), Ethan Suplee (“Chance,” “American History X”), Leslie Mann (“This is 40”), Josh Pais (“Ray Donovan”), Academy Award winner Fisher Stevens (producer, “The Cove”), Michael K. Williams (“Assassin’s Creed”), and Robert Wisdom (“The Dark Knight Rises,” “Ballers”).
Serving as executive producers are Michael Bederman, Adrian Alperovich, Sue Kroll, Robert F. Smith, Brian Sheth, and Daniel Nadler.
Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, “Motherless Brooklyn” follows Lionel Essrog (Norton), a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the powerful engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York's power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.
Norton’s screenplay is inspired by the novel “Motherless Brooklyn,” by Jonathan Lethem, which won the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.
The creative filmmaking team includes two-time Oscar-nominated director of photography Dick Pope (“Mr. Turner,” “The Illusionist”); production designer Beth Mickle (“Drive,” “Arbitrage”); Oscar-nominated editor Joe Klotz (“Precious”); and costume designer Amy Roth (“Indignation”). Avy Kaufman (“An Ordinary Man”) is the casting director.
About Class 5 Films:
Founded by Edward Norton, Stuart Blumberg and Bill Migliore, Class 5 Films has produced the feature films “Thanks for Sharing,” directed by Stuart Blumberg (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions), “The Painted Veil,” directed by John Curran (Warner Independent), “Leaves of Grass,” directed by Tim Blake Nelson (Milennium/NuImage), “Down in the Valley,” directed by David Jacobson (Thinkfilm), the Netflix Original documentary “My Own Man,” directed by David Sampliner, and the Emmy-winning HBO documentary “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama,” directed by Amy Rice & Alicia Sams. The company's first production was “Keeping the Faith,” which was directed by Norton, with a screenplay by Blumberg.
About MWM Studios:
Founded in 2001 by producer Gigi Pritzker, MWM Studios (formerly OddLot Entertainment) is the film and television production company behind such critically acclaimed projects as the Golden Globe and ten-time Emmy nominated Nat Geo series “Genius” and the Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated film “Hell or High Water.” The full-service company develops, produces, finances and arranges distribution for quality commercial properties for the U.S. and international markets, as seen with its 2017 comedy “Landline.” The indie film premiered at Sundance and was released in partnership with Amazon Studios earlier this year. Chief Creative Officer, Rachel Shane and Chief Operating Officer, Adrian Alperovich oversee operations for the company, whose past releases include the Academy Award-nominated dramas “Rabbit Hole” and “Drive,” along with “The Way Way Back,” the futuristic sci-fi film “Ender’s Game” and Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, “Rosewater.” MWM Studios is next producing the upcoming Warner Bros. film, “Motherless Brooklyn,” written/directed and starring Edward Norton. MWM Studios is a division of MWM, a diversified media and entertainment company that empowers creators to cross-pollinate content between film, television, live event, digital video and AR/VR, in order to grow brands in a more enriching, entertaining and engaging way.