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Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin Board Edward Norton’s ‘Motherless Brooklyn’

Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Cherry Jones have joined Edward Norton’s thriller “Motherless Brooklyn.”

Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe came on to the project last week. Ethan Suplee, Leslie Mann, Josh Pais, Fisher Stevens, Michael K. Williams, and Robert Wisdom are also in the cast.

Norton will direct from his own screenplay, and will produce with his Class 5 Films partner Bill Migliore (“Manchester By the Sea”).  MWM Studios’ Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane, whose collective credits include “Hell or High Water” and “Genius,” will also produce.  Executive producers are Michael Bederman, Adrian Alperovich, Sue Kroll, Robert F. Smith, Brian Sheth, and Daniel Nadler.

The film, which has begun shooting in New York City, will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, “Motherless Brooklyn” follows Norton’s Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (played by 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.

Norton’s screenplay is inspired by Jonathan Lethem’s novel “Motherless Brooklyn,” which won the 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

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