William Monahan Making His Directorial Debut with London Boulevard
Screenwriter William Monahan has been in the news quite a bit since winning an Oscar in 2007. This time it's not just as screenwriter, however, as Monahan has just announced his decision to try his hand at directing, too. Monahan is planing to make his directorial debut this fall with an adaptation of the Ken Bruen novel London Boulevard. The novel, published in 2002, revolves around a South London criminal who, after being released from prison, tries to give up the gangster life by becoming a handyman for a reclusive young actress. I'm not sure about Monahan's abilities as a director, but he is definitely a very capable screenwriter.
After winning the Oscar in 2007 for adapting The Departed, Monahan has been attached to countless other high profile adaptations, including Ridley Scott's Body of Lies, a remake of The Chaser, The Long Play with Scorsese, an adaptation of John Pearson's The Gamblers, an untitled undercover thriller for Paramount, and even Blood Meridian for Ridley Scott. However, his official line-up starts with The Chaser first, then the Paramount thriller, then London Boulevard. Former MGM production executive Quentin Curtis has partnered with Monahan and will be producing with Graham King and Alexandra Milchan.
Mitchell is finally free after a stint in prison for assault. A crony offers him a job as a loan-shark enforcer, and though Mitchell isn't crazy about the idea, he doesn't have any better offers. He's perfect for the job - mean and merciless. Buthe's also got another, softer side: he's an avid reader of crime novels, he's a loyal friend, and he'd even like to get married one day if he can find the right woman. He figures his luck might have changed when he lands a legitimate job as a handyman for a rich actress who's eager to reward him with cash, cars, and sex. Then he meets Aisling - smart, beautiful, and, best of all, as crazy about Mitchell as he is about her. But Mitchell can never truly escape his violent past or the dangerous world of loan sharks, druggies, and other bottomfeeders. When an arrogant error in judgment threatens everything that's dear to Mitchell, he plots his own ghastly form of revenge on those who've stolen his life. You can pick up a copy of the novel on Amazon.com.
As great as this sounds, I'm worried that it could turn out like another low budget Deception. Great idea, but just falls apart in execution. Of course the production team behind this will be what makes the difference. And I really hope Monahan knows what he's doing as a director, otherwise I'd suggest he continue to leave that job in the hands of the greats like Marty Scorsese and Ridley Scott.