In 2014, writer/director Dan Gilroy gained a lot of attention for his drama Nightcrawler, which told the story of aspiring crime journalist Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) and the immoral lengths he would go to to make a name (and money) for himself. The film received a plethora of accolades, including a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination for Gilroy. He’s kept a low profile in the years since, and cinephiles are eager to see what he’ll do for a follow-up.
It would appear that Gilroy is now starting to piece together his next project, a legal drama called Inner City that he will write and direct. After Gyllenhaal delivered a career-defining performance under Gilrory’s watch, there will be much interest in seeing who the filmmaker gets as his lead this time around. According to the latest reports, he’s hoping to join forces with none other than acting great Denzel Washington.
The news comes courtesy of Variety, who say that should the Oscar winner sign on, he would play a lawyer in Los Angeles who is forced to deal with “a major change at his company.” Inner City is said to be similar to the 1982 Paul Newman vehicle The Verdict, which earned five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. Washington is no stranger to the awards circuit, having picked up six nods of his own (and two wins), so if Inner City can live up to its billing, he could end up in the race once again.
Currently, the film is without a distributor, but that could change very soon. Gilroy will send the script to interested parties around Labor Day, with the hope of selling the rights in the fall. There is said to be high interest in the film, especially after a summer movie season that saw numerous box office disappointments. It would appear that studios have learned a lesson and realized that lower budgeted works have a greater chance of turning a profit. Additionally, Washington remains a bankable name, as his most recent film, The Equalizer, made $101.5 million domestically. The actor can next be seen in Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven remake, which is one of the most anticipated films of the season. His involvement with Inner City will make it an appealing endeavor for executives.
Hopefully this pairing comes into fruition. Per Variety, Washington has been Gilroy’s number one choice for the part for a while, suggesting that Gilroy wrote the screenplay with Washington in mind. There’s no denying that their collaboration could lead to excellent results and make for a compelling drama. Washington has played a lawyer before, most notably in 1993’s Philadelphia, so the role would be right in his wheelhouse as a performer. He continues to light up the screen after decades of acting, so Inner City will be one to watch out for.
We’ll keep you updated on Inner City as more information becomes available.