Warner Bros.’ drama, based on the 1999 novel by Jonathan Lethem, follows Lionel Essrog, a young man who works for a small-time mobster in Brooklyn while struggling with an intense case of Tourette Syndrome.
“Okay, listen, I got something wrong with me, that’s the first thing to know. I twitch and shout a lot, it makes me look like a damn freak show,” Lionel (Norton) voices over at the beginning of the trailer. “But inside my head’s an even bigger mess. I can’t stop twisting things around, words especially. I have to keep playing with ’em until they come out right. Then I started working for Frank.”
Lionel begins working for New York-based mobster Frank (Bruce Willis) who runs a limo service detective agency. However, after the Frank — considered the King of Brooklyn — is fatally stabbed and one of Lionel’s colleagues consequentially lands in jail, Lionel’s life turns upside down as he attempts to figure out the deadly case.
“[Frank’s] the one who taught me how to use my head, turn it into a strength, gave me a place in this crappy world…until I screwed up,” Lionel continues.
“Motherless Brooklyn” also stars Willem Dafoe, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Leslie Mann, Bobby Cannavale, Fisher Stevens, and Cherry Jones, with Norton also attached as writer-director.
It’s scheduled to hit theaters Nov. 1.