Warner Bros Developing 'Empire Rising' & Wants Guy Ritchie to Direct
by Ethan Anderton
August 21, 2013
Right now, director Guy Ritchie is getting together an adaptation of the of the 1960s spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. for Warner Bros. with Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant and Alicia Vikander starring. But it sounds like he might stick around the studio for another project. Deadline has word that Warner Bros. has picked up Thomas Kelly's 2006 period novel Empire Rising and they want Ritchie to direct. Considering Ritchie has Snatch, RocknRolla and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels to his name, not to mention the Sherlock Holmes franchise, this story of a love triangle set in 1930s NYC sounds unique.
Here's the official synopsis for Kelly's book:
It is 1930, and ground has just been broken for the Empire State Building. One of the thousands of men who will come to work high above the city is Michael Briody, an Irish immigrant torn between his desire to make a new life in America and his pledge to gather money and arms for the Irish republican cause. When he meets Grace Masterson, an alluring artist who is depicting the great skyscraper's rise from her houseboat on the East River, Briody's life suddenly turns exhilarating--and dangerous--for Grace is also a paramour of Johnny Farrell, Mayor Jimmy Walker's liaison with Tammany Hall and the underworld.
Kelly is no stranger to show business as the executive producer and showrunner of the series "Copper" and a writer and supervising producer on "Blue Bloods." Plus, his screenplay Taking Gotham is being directed by Taken 2 helmer Olivier Megaton. However, this story sounds much different than all of his other crime and law-based works before. Ritchie took on romance with Swept Away back when he was involved with Madonna, but has yet to take on a similar story since then. If Warner Bros. ends up getting Ritchie on board, we'd be very interested to see how this turns out.